The Feverish Library
A Story by the argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges Ficciones. (part one: The Garden of Forking Paths, The Library of Babel) describes the universe as a Library, ‘composed of an indefinite, perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries’, in which all possible and impossible books are stored. Library of Babel ‘In the vestibule there is a mirror, which faithfully duplicates appearances.’
Our research uses this image as a premise to investigate the contemporary net and content production. All that is possible will happen. The feverish library ever expands.
Mechanisms of social media platforms, aggregators and message boards are designed around and filled with ‘[…] the glimpse of something.’ (Willem de Kooning, Content is a Glimpse). The Glimpses multiply endlessly, without getting deeper, and are all collected by the ‘feverish’ Library. ‘Die Wucherung des Gleichen ist nicht karzinomatös, sondern komatös. Sie stößt auf keine immunologische Abwehr. Man glotzt bis zur Bewusstlosigkeit.’ Byung-Chul Han, Die Austreibung des Anderen, Gesellschaft und Kommunikation heute. S. Fischer, 2016.
But we also introduce the idea of ‘Fever’ as a positive reaction to the lulling drag of the web—an immunological response of the user’s self to the web’s most endemic aspects.
These projects deal with consequences of the net’s invasion of our privacy, attention and behavior and/or strategies to prevent them—as well as the aesthetics we use to frame our understanding of the net’s structure.