Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Books vs Water (and something about archives)
Yesterday I visited my mothers to check on my storage unit (a shipping container which she has left on a friend's farm). The last time I went there it smelt a bit damp and I'd been getting worried about my books. Anyway it turns out that one of my worst imaginable nightmares has come true — the container had developed small rust holes in the roof directly above where all my books were stacked (in cardboard boxes). So for about three months now, whenever it has rained, the water has been dripping in on top of the boxes of books. Needless to say I suppose, there is a lot of damage. Thousands of dollars worth! Some are complete throwaways, some are salvageable. I spent lastnight going through them. I should have taken some photos, it was pretty awful, because not only was everything wet but mould had set in in a big way. It's been quite heartbreaking. All my design and art books are the worst affected too. To anyone who doesn't know I have (had!) a fairly hefty collection of these sorts of books, a small library you might say. I use them for teaching and for my own research, but also I'm a bit of a collector (a 'hoarder' Nadine would say) and for many of these books my attachment is sentimental. Similar to how I feel about my record collection, I think of the 'collection' as a sort of map of where I've been over the years. Going through the carnage lastnight I thought more about archives. I've always wanted to archive my own work in a decent sort of way, but I never have (partly because I keep moving). I kept thinking about Julian Dashper's garage/studio. Julian went to America on a Fulbright scholarship (I think?) to research artist's archives. I wondered what became of his research? I wondered what designer's archives are like?