January 3, 2013 - Goethe-Institut New York - The End(s) of the Library
January 3, 2013

The End(s) of the Library

Installation view of David Horvitz, How Can a Digital be Gift? at the Goethe-Institut New York Library, 2012. Photo: Adam Reich.

The End(s) of the Library
with Julieta Aranda, Fia Backström & R. Lyon, David Horvitz, Christian Philipp Müller, and The Serving Library

October 30, 2012–June 21, 2013

Goethe-Institut New York Library
72 Spring Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10012


Curated by Jenny Jaskey 
Design by common room and Geoff Han

The End(s) of the Library
isa series of commissioned exhibitions and a discursive program with Julieta Aranda, Fia Backström & R. Lyon, David Horvitz, Christian Philipp Müller, and The Serving Library taking place at the Goethe-Institut New York Library from October 30, 2012 to June 21, 2013. Organized by Jenny Jaskey, the contributors will address how previous library configurations have given way to altered forms and revised values in the digital age, emphasizing the fact that the library is neither a monolithic system nor an abandoned utopia, but a site demanding new readings of its organizational frameworks: an institution whose ends are without end. 

The End(s) of the Library situates itself at a moment when libraries are experiencing a profound paradigm shift. Historically, the library has positioned itself as a physical site to collectively exchange books, an alternative to market-based systems, as well as a heterotopic social space preserved for the public good. Yet with the rise of digital distribution, experience-driven information providers, as well as evolving notions of the public sphere, libraries face new questions about their identities. Rather than idealize the library in crisis by offering a nostalgic look at its past or recuperative speculation about its future, the invited artists propose a number of divergent positions from within the library, reformatting its resources to new ends.

David Horvitz
October 30–December 21, 2012
Working with a group of artists and independent publishers, Horvitz will attempt to make a sizeable donation of digitized artist books free of copyright restrictions to the Goethe-Institut New York Library. His project highlights the role of third-party distributors and the library’s new dependence on digital platform providers to make their holdings accessible to the public. 

Julieta Aranda, Fia Backström and R. Lyon 
January 5–February 15, 2013
Fia Backström and her collaborators Julieta Aranda and R. Lyon will query the way that digital repositories structure, mediate and produce knowledge in parallel to analog processes, developing alternate methods for relating information.

Christian Philipp Müller 
February 21–March 29, 2013
Bringing a rare set of materials from the Documenta archives in Kassel, where he lives and works, Müller will put these holdings in conversation with the Goethe-Institut New York Library’s collection to raise questions about how material values affect cultural exchange and accessibility. 

The Serving Library
April 1–June 21, 2013
The End(s) of the Library will be both sponsor and catalyst for the fifth issue of “Bulletins of The Serving Library,” compiled and edited by Stuart Bailey, Angie Keefer, and David Reinfurt, to be released in summer 2013. In advance of this publication, The Serving Library’s archive of artifacts, variously drawn from previous issues of the journal and its forerunner, “Dot Dot Dot,” will be on view at the Goethe-Institut New York Library. 

The program is free and open to the public. For a full schedule of exhibitions and events, please visit www.theendsofthelibrary.com. For general information call (212) 439-8700 or visit the Goethe-Institut New York online at www.goethe.de/newyork

Goethe-Institut New York
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