Opening the Books

Installation view at V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media, during the exhibition Data in the 21st Century

Created during a residency at V2.

Can we somehow relate to global corporations in a non-capitalist way? This question was the motivation behind 'Opening the Books', and connects the project with our larger research into what role these corporations play in our everyday lives.
Let's take as an example, a resource of written texts even greater than the fabled library of Alexandria. The logo of the company suggests it contains the 'A to Z' of human knowledge, and as such it has become an unquestionable institution. This treasure, however, remains hidden for all, except for its 'pickers' who roam the distribution centers and who can not claim ownership or control over it. And so 'Opening the Books' started – naively perhaps but nevertheless allowing for an alternative understanding – to use as a public library. Every week a new book was requested from the treasure rooms surrounding us in Koblenz and Graben, Germany and Rugeley, Great Britain. These books were curated by us to suggest a timeline of workers-controled industry, starting with the ship yards in Scotland and working towards a vision of the future in which workers can and will claim ownership over the fruit of their efforts. After a week the book was returned.