16 December 2015

"community cataloging" at Stony Island Arts Bank

I saw a picture of this amazing book room that is part of the Stony Island Arts Bank, one of the Rebuild Foundation's buildings in Chicago, and was pretty excited that one of their "community cataloging" exercises would take place while I was in town for the Architecture Biennial. The vision was that we would see how community would build metadata. Well, it didn't turn out quite like that but it was interesting to see how an arts organization might look at a collection of books in a creative way. The books, by the way, belonged to the Johnson Publishing Company, the publishers of Ebony and Jet.

Our project was counting slides from the Art Institute of Chicago that are now one of the Rebuild collections. The approach was much more archival than library. Collection-level rather than item-level cataloging. They anticipate that users will make connections from the images rather than use them as illustrations as an art historian might.

Whatever, it was great to see the renovated bank and how it had become an art space. There was a model on the second floor that indicates there might be a garden of related spaces for performance and observation next to the bank building.

The bank is several long blocks South of the University of Chicago campus. The rain had stopped so I didn't get all wet again on my way up to the campus.

I stopped in at the Logan Center gallery (So-called Utopias), the Renaissance Society (drawings by Paul McCarthy), and the Smart Museum of Art (expressionism from Central and Eastern Europe) before heading back to the Loop. A ceramic work entitled Translated Vases by Yeesookyung in the permanent collection galleries at the Smart played nicely off No Light For Whom by Jörg Immendorff in the expressionist show.

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