Public Library/Memory of the World
Moderation: Robert Patz
Public Library/Memory of the World is the synergy of two efforts. First, it makes the case for the institution of the public library and its principle of universal access to knowledge. Second, it is an exploration and development of distributed internet infrastructure for amateur librarians. A public library, one of those almost invisible infrastructures that we start to notice only once they go extinct. A place where all people can get access to all knowledge that can be collected seemed for a long time a dream beyond reach – until the egalitarian impetus of social revolutions, the Enlightenment idea of universality of knowledge, and the exceptional suspension of the commercial barriers of copyright made it possible.
The internet has, as in many other situations, completely changed our expectations and imagination about what is possible.
The dream of a catalogue of the world – a universal access to all available knowledge for every member of society – became realizable. A question merely of the meeting of curves on a graph: the point at which the line of global distribution of personal computers meets that of the critical mass of people with access to the internet.
However, the emergence and development of the internet is taking place precisely at the point at which an institutional crisis – one with traumatic and inconceivable consequences – has also begun.
Nenad Romić (aka Marcell Mars, b. 1972), advanced internet user, co-founder of Multimedia Institute – mi2 (1999) and club mama in Zagreb (2000). He initiated GNU GPL publishing label EGOBOO.bits (2000); started Skill sharing (2004) and the regional hacker gatherings nothing will happen (2007). Mars started his research Ruling Class Studies at Jan van Eyck Academie (2011-12), continued at Akademie Schloss Solitude (2013) and since spring 2015, he is a PhD student at Digital Cultures Research Lab, Leuphana University. Ruling Class Studies is a research of corporate state-of-the-art digital innovation, adaptation, and intelligence. It looks closely at Google, Amazon, Facebook and eBay. Mars is often narrator of the project Public Library, which was exhibited at Museo Reina Sofía, 98weeks, Impakt Festival, Transmediale, The New School, Kunstverein Stuttgart, among others. He develops software: the Calibre plugin [let's share books] and related server infrastructure.