Damage Noted, Writing Throughout

The book pages documented in this series are a testament to the interactive relationship between author and reader. That they are primarily images taken of books from public libraries is worth noting, because within the library’s intimately social context the reader who scribbles in the margin is an author to be discovered by the next reader, and so on, ad infinitum.

 

The project began in 2001 when I encountered a librarian’s sanctimonious documentation of damage in a book I’d checked out from a university library in London, England, José Ortega Y Gasset’s The Dehumanization of Art.  “Damage Noted, Writing Throughout.” It struck me as being more than a little hypocritical, writing in the book about the writing in the book, and also a delightful entreaty to engage with the topic of authorship on another plane altogether. Being in school at the time, and reading book after book, I happened upon marginal exclamations and proclamations from time to time that I felt compelled to document.  But it was not until returning home to Vancouver, BC and visiting the local library that I realized that certain conventions of this form of conversation were remarkably similar from one location to the next.

 

The conversation I am enchanted with is not simply the one that occurs between the book’s original author, its involved reader cum annotator, and subsequent readers—rather it is the one between the authors (both original and annotative) and the various soldiers of the library system.

"Damage Noted"

"Damage Noted"

centerpiece of the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"Fate of Reading"

"Fate of Reading"

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"LIMITED SPACE"

"LIMITED SPACE"

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"You're a big help."

"You're a big help."

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"But surely..."

"But surely..."

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"The real me"

"The real me"

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"Scribbling Throughout"

"Scribbling Throughout"

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"DEMOCRACY IS RIDICULOUS"

"DEMOCRACY IS RIDICULOUS"

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"The plates are nice..."

"The plates are nice..."

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"Experiment in Criticism"

"Experiment in Criticism"

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"exactly"

"exactly"

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"REALLY?"

"REALLY?"

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"I must work hard..."

"I must work hard..."

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"...TWO EQUAL PARTS"

"...TWO EQUAL PARTS"

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)

"Answer: ART"

"Answer: ART"

from the series "Damage Noted, Writing Throughout" c-print 10” x 8” (2002-2004)