Library of Inclusions and Omissions
This page provides an overview of the project with short factual descriptions of its elements and methodological steps. For a detailed discussion, please see chapter "Reflection, theorization: Library of Inclusions and Omissions –– radical publishing practices require radical librarianship."
Starting point and context
The Library of Inclusions and Omissions (LIO) is a practice-based experiment in critical knowledge infrastructures. Through an open call for contribution, it builds a reference library that is curated by the community that is using it. So far, roughly 100 contributions are on the shelf. The library gathers feminist, intersectional, postcolonial materials which are not, or only sparsely available in institutional collections or databases, too flimsy in format or otherwise not validated by publishing houses or institutions such as libraries. Can such a curatorial concept help to give voice to undiscovered, suppressed, or otherwise not acknowledged material? Can this turn a library from a repository of knowledge into a space of social and intellectual encounters? And in which way can such a project help to build knowledge infrastructures that counter the normativity of the modern, colonial project?
In the hope to receive contributions from a range of cultural backgrounds and communities, the open call was published in Swedish, English, and Arabic and distributed in community centers, libraries, universities, art spaces, in and around Gothenburg (including suburbs such as Angered).
Index Card Catalogue
The LIO asks contributors for a short written rationale, why this book is important to them, and why they want to share it with others. Through this, the emphasis shifts from trying to frame the actual content of the book in an arguably objective manner towards describing the readers' making of meaning and the publications agency for the reader. The short statements are printed on the LIO's index cards, thus serving as an entry point and framing device for the library users. This subjective catalog approach can be understood as an experiment to connect people through their readings, discoveries, desires, struggles, and hopes. This experiment challenges the concept of neutrality and universality in standard institutional cataloging systems that are bound to using a 'controlled vocabulary' and classification system.
Temporary Reading Rooms installed in different contexts
"Meaning Making Meaning", A-venue Gothenburg
16 March – 2 April 2016
Convened by Gabo Camnitzer, "Meaning Making Meaning" was a three-part project consisting of an exhibition, a series of workshops and the Library of Inclusions and Ommissions Reading Room. Thirty-seven artists and educators responded to two questions: "How do you bring a classroom to life as if it were a work of art?" (Felix Guattari, Chaosmosis) and its reformulation: "How do you bring a work of art to life as if it were a classroom?" The invitation to participate in "Meaning Making Meaning" triggered the library project. It provided a generative context, because so many participants and visitors were invested in the relationship between critical knowledge practices and the arts, and therefore actively contributed by adding many and varied materials to the library.
"The Research Show", A-venue Gothenburg
6 – 23 April 2016
Convened by Cora Hillebrand, Ram Krishna Ranjan, and Mick Wilson, "The Research Show" was an informal work in progress exhibition by doctoral researchers based in the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, at the University of Gothenburg. "The Research Show" took place in the same venue as Meaning Making Meaning, in an empty shop in Gothenburg's city center. As it followed on the "Meaning Making Meaning" exhibition, the reading room stayed and the exhibition around it changed. The implications of this change of context, from a multilayered exhibition/workshop/discursive project to a more traditional exhibition framework is discussed in chapter "Reflection, theorization.
"Let’s Mobilize: What is Feminist Pedagogy?"
Valand Academy, 12-14 Oct 2016
Organized by the Feminist Pedagogy Working Group at Valand Academy, "Let's Mobilise: What is Feminist Pedagogy" was a three-day international mobilization investigating queer and intersectional feminist pedagogies. Participants from seven European countries arriving in Gothenburg brought materials to add to the library reading room installed during the event.
"Utopia of Access", Pavilion for Artistic Research, 57th Venice Biennale, 11 May - 2 July 2017
Curated by Jan Kaila (Uniarts Helsinki) and Henk Slager (Utrecht University), "Utopia of Access" invited ten researchers from different Nordic doctoral programs to articulate new modes of artistic thinking on the notion of access. My approach to installing a reading room in Venice was led by questions such as: Can a collectively owned resource be exhibited at an international art show such as the Venice Biennale? What are the underlying politics of "exhibiting" a resource that is anchored in a local community and collectively owned, in the context of an international Art Biennale? Would the practicalities of such an exhibition be productive: Would visitors come back and add relevant materials to the library? I decided to use this occasion "to tell" about the project rather than moving the whole resource to Venice. I presented a 1:1 scale photographic representation of the books on the shelves, printed on large posters that were accompanied by a printed pamphlet. In this pamphlet named "Dear Hannah", I discuss the fine line when exhibiting turns into an act of artistic co-option.
"Boxing and Unboxing", Guestroom Research Residency, Marabouparken Konsthall Stockholm, 21 April – 26 August 2018
Invited by MarabouparkenKonsthall curator Jenny Richards, selected parts of the Library of Inclusions and Omissions were installed in AND Publishing's "Unboxing Room" at MarabouParken Konsthall. In this room, we displayed a range of cardboard boxes that we shipped from London to Stockholm, containing materials we were working on at the time. Visitors were invited to 'unbox' this archive in progress. This "Unboxing Room", initially designated to be in the main galleries, unfolded eventually in one of Marabouparken Konsthall's office/archive rooms in the administration wing. This change of plan was initiated by the realization that the formal no-daylight gallery space did not allow for the kind of engagement we hoped for. The new room on the corridor next to the staff kitchen was a more friendly and conducive environment for this intended process of discovery. Visitors were guided by Konsthall staff to the admin office wing – "backstage," so to say, making the invisible processes of administration and organization and finances at the admin offices visible to visitors.
- See the project website "Meaning Making Meaning". The exhibition included work by Alina Tenser, Andrea Phillips, Ann-Charlotte Glasberg Blomqvist, Annette Krauss, Anton Vidokle, Barnfilmskolan, Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris, Cara Tolmie and Kimberley O'Neill, Doa Aly, Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse (Smudge Studio), Emanuel Almborg, Eva Weinmayr, Felicity Allen, Gert Biesta and Carl Anders Säfström, Glenn Loughran, Harrell Fletcher, Henry Giroux, Irit Rogoff, Janna Graham, Jaroslav Andel, Jason E. Bowman, Jenny Richards, Jessica Hamlin, Jeuno JE Kim and Ewa Einhorn, Katrin Ingelstedt, Lisa Nyberg, Lovisa Gustafsson, Maj Hasager, Maria Acaso and Jordi Ferreiro, Monica Sand, Olav Westphalen, Olivia Plender, Pedro Lasch, Stephan Dillemuth, Stephen Duncombe, Sunshine Socialist Cinema, and Tyson E. Lewis.
- participating artists included André Alves, Eva la Cour, Kerstin Hamilton, Annelies Vaneycken, Arne Kjell Vikhagen, and Eva Weinmayr.
- The core working group's members were Andreas Engman, Eva Weinmayr, Gabo Cammnitzer, Kanchan Burathoki, Mary Coble, and Rose Borthwick.
- These boxes contained materials, for example, from The Piracy Project, Teaching for people who prefer not to teach, The Library of Omissions and Inclusions, Let's Mobilize: What is Feminist Pedagogy?, https://www.artsadmin.co.uk/events/3850 a selection of good and bad sports bras (D cup and upwards)], Keep It Complex, as well as our terms and conditions, emails and other miscellaneous items.