"Cabinet Logics: An Intellectual History of Book Furniture" with Shannon Mattern
Cabinet Logics: An Intellectual History of Book Furniture
Even “the cloud” that seems to float above us today relies on heavy architecture for its operation. In this talk I’ll focus on the furniture we design and build (or buy, or appropriate, or kludge together) to make, store, support, organize, and preserve our bibliographic objects. These structures scaffold our media technologies, inform the way human bodies relate to those media, and embody certain assumptions about what and how we know things through these objects. We’ll examine how these media-furnishings function as material supports for the delivery of and engagement with media resources, while they also frame organizational logics, access policies, and technical protocols. We’ll discover how our task chairs, desks, shelves, and cabinets give shape to epistemology, politics, and affect — how they render complex intellectual and political ideas material, aesthetic, and empirical.
All talks in the Book History Colloquium at Columbia are free and open to the public, but registration is required and advance registration preferred. Advance registration can be done at this link. This talk is sponsored by the Columbia Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Columbia Department of English & Comparative Literature, Columbia (GSAPP) Books on Architecture & the City, and the Columbia Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities.