Copies of the *free library and other histories*
a limited edition tabloid by artist Ann Messner, are now available to
libraries on the van delivery (see a more detailed description below).
These tabloids are designed to be distributed onsite for free to library
patrons. Please reply to this email to request the number of copies you
would like for your library. We have 2,000 copies available and can
comfortably fit five folded copies in one large van delivery bag.
The tabloid is made available through the Institute of Contemporary
Art's *Surveillance, Data and the New Panoptic*
exhibition, which is part of the statewide *Freedom & Captivity*
<https://www.freedomandcaptivity.org/> project. Special thank you to the
Maine State Library for their assistance with this outreach.
*the free library and other histories* is the story of a besieged history
of free and open access to knowledge in the US. Constructed as a narrative,
form of appropriated texts and images culled from research into the archives
of the public library, the work reveals that the history of a public library
cannot be separated from the struggles for civil and human rights, of class
and labor struggles, for religious and secular intellectual freedom and the
right to enquire and question. The story of the library is that of a living
archive, responsive to the shifting zeitgeist, a fragile amalgam of
collective knowledge and consciousness, subject to all manner of challenge
The library manifests the history of human intellect, the amalgam of
knowledge both generously open-minded and treacherous. For the secular
mind, the library, in that it offers both chance intellectual encounter and
hushed solace for reflection, proposes a possibility of sacred place. The
civic tradition of a free open library, of uncensored public access to
ideally encouraging cultural complexities and dialectical exchange has been,
as the historical archive of this institution reveals, hard won. This is a
tradition incrementally fought for—perennially challenged.
Printed offset in the form of a tabloid, stacked in bundles at multiple
locations, this image/text based project is offered free to the public.
Availability for the taking lends itself to a more examined read over time.
*the free library and other histories*
20 pages, offset tabloid,
printed on 50lb white newsprint
3rd edition, 2000 copies
12.5 x 17 inches (each)
Shiva Darbandi *(she/her)*
Director of the Joanne Waxman Library
Maine College of Art & Design
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522 Congress St. Portland, ME 04101