Apply Now – Read with the Spine: Experiences & Experiments in Northwestern Libraries Collections

Read with the Spine: Experiences & Experiments in Northwestern Libraries Collections

Friday, March 2, 1-5pm, Faculty, staff, and students

Saturday, March 3, 9am-1pm, Students only

This Northwestern University workshop will use the site of the library to explore fundamental questions about human experiences and the nature of books and libraries themselves, such as:

 What does it mean to listen, especially now? How is a history made, on the human level?

What do we archive and why?

 Why choose a book as the form for ideas? What is the sensory ecosystem of a library?

Working individually and collectively, participants will immerse themselves in looking, listening, reading, writing and responding to sites and materials across the libraries.

Read with the Spine is being developed and led by Kaplan Artist in Residence Jen Bervin; the Block Museum’s Susy Bielak, the Susan and Stephen Wilson Associate Director of Engagement/Curator of Public Practice; Martin Antonetti, the Library’s Director of Distinctive Collections; and a team of the Libraries’ curators and conservators—including from the Art Library, Archival Processing, Melville J. Herskovits Library, Music Library, Preservation and Conservation, and the Transportation Library. Participants will draw inspiration from library holdings, as well the architecture of the historic Deering and Main Libraries themselves.

This workshop is open to anyone on the campus of Northwestern University seeking new modes of research and inspiration. To participate or learn more please e-mail Holly Lee Warren, holly.warren@northwestern.edu. Include your department affiliation(s); whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student, faculty or staff member, a three-sentence biography, and up to a paragraph on what interests you about this opportunity. Workshop space is limited. Statements of interest requested by February 19.

This program is co-sponsored by the Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art, Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, and Northwestern Libraries. 


Workshop Facilitator Biographies:

Martin Antonetti is the Director of Distinctive Collections at the Northwestern University Libraries, where he oversees the university’s rare books, manuscripts, and archives. Before that he was curator of rare books in the Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College where he also taught courses in the history of the book and in contemporary artist’s books and directed the Book Studies Concentration, the first undergraduate program of its kind in the country. Antonetti has written and lectured widely in the history of the book, including fine printing, letterforms, bookbinding, and book collecting. He has served in various capacities on the boards of Hand Papermaking, the Book Arts Press, and the American Printing History Association. He is currently the president of the Bibliographical Society of America, the oldest scholarly society in North America dedicated to the study of books and manuscripts as physical objects.

Jen Bervin is currently a Kaplan Artist-in-Residence hosted by the Block Museum of Art. She is an artist and poet whose research-driven interdisciplinary works weave together art, writing, science and life. Exploring the intersection of traditional craft and cutting edge technology, Bervin’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Des Moines Art Center and Granoff Center for the Arts at Brown University, and has been featured in group exhibitions at MASS MoCA, MCA Denver, The Power Plant in Toronto, and the Walker Art Center. Bervin has published ten books, including Silk Poems—a long-form poem presented both as a book (Nightboat Books, 2017) and as an implantable biosensor made from liquefied silk developed in collaboration with Tufts University’s Silk Lab. She is a SETI Institute Artist in Residence, a program that facilitates a cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas between artists and scientists.

Susy Bielak is the Susan and Stephen Wilson Associate Director of Engagement/Curator of Public Practice at the Block Museum. She is a Chicago based curator, educator, artist and writer. In her role at the Block, she curates artist projects outside of the walls of the museum and directs programming, pedagogy, and partnerships. Prior to joining the Block, she served as the Associate Director of Public and Interpretive Programs at the Walker Art Center. Approaching museums and universities as laboratories and civic spaces, she has worked with a range of artists including Simone Forti, the Museum of Non Participation, and Pedro Reyes. Bielak’s own work has been performed, published and exhibited in Art Papers, the International Print Center, the Museo Tamayo, New American Paintings, Poetry Magazine and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, among others. Bielak received her MFA from the University of California San Diego.

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