December 24, 2005

ah library science

last life in the universe

reams, shelves, stacks, and heaps of books, magazines, vinyl, cassette tapes, compact disc cases.... which all vastly outnumber the humans


andrea said...


i love this movie to PIECES! have you watched it?

i love playing and replaying cassette tapes, and this is one of those movies that i would wind and rewind without really watching or caring.

as always:
male librarian = Sexy Profession!

jean said...

i couldn't find a decent picture of asano as kenji via google, so the picture above is a screenshot i took! hottest gangster-turned-librarian ever ... smoldering is the word i'm looking for. ;p

there was an issue of selfservice magazine this year that had an interview with the chief archivist of vogue's ENTIRE library ... i would die for this job (at least for a few months).

i can't imagine what archives will be like in the future (a challenge for architects), considering how much archive-worthy still image / film production is being done these days. it's going to be so niche ... and editors will be more and more in demand.

dammit editors and curators are so powerful ...

andrea said...


true! i used to work for the Bancroft Library... such a headache.

right now, i'm re-reading a biography of duke ellington, something i used for a high school English class project (develop a multimedia presentation on the person of your choice, famous or not). the biography was published in 1993, and my presentation was made in 2000. now that it's nearing 2006, it only takes a re-reading of the author's introduction to understand the full impact of his archiving efforts.

it's... spell-BINDING. an understanding of the guy (duke ellington) depends only so much on the lasting impact of interviews and recordings. an intuitive understanding of his music would be nice, too. :p

but what sets this particular biography apart from the ones before it (i dunno about the ones which have followed) is that the biographer is a Curator with the Smithsonian. There, i said it: "Curator".

at less than 500 pages of text, it's a concise "summary" of the subject's lifelong honing of his art.

but as you know- any biography or chronicling of a historical period is SOOOOOOOooo subjective. it's amazing that the biographer went and dug through so many rough drafts of manuscripts, so many newspaper clippings from around the globe, so much "ephemera". he also pored over interviews with the guy's collaborators, family, audience members, etc...

"library science", my arse! how do you go about cataloguing memes??

i guess you try your best, and try not to get too attached to your own efforts.

you should become an editor/curator, jean!

andrea said...


1. to clarify:

the biographer/Curator in question is known as such (on the back cover of the book):

"Music historian, musician, award-winning author and record producer, J.E.H. serves as Curator of American Music at the Smithsonian Instituion, curator of its travelling exhibition 'B.C.', and producer and annotator of the boxed set of recordings, 'B.C.'"

The specific details of this description aren't as significant as: "historian", "musician", "author", "producer", "curator", and "annotator".

the best Curators/Producers/Annotators/etc... are the never the ones who PURPOSELY fuss about BECOMING archivists. archiving is just something that happens along the way, probably as you enter old age. :p

2. it would be cool if "someday", we begin to imagine many certain cities as loci for archives. Washington D.C. is too good of an example. we also have Memphis and Nashville. people (especially those who govern cities, unfortunately) always argue that a city's overall tourism industry form the city's respiratory tract: "tourism is the living/breathing/pulsating/capital-generating AGE-LESS historian of a city!" they scream.

but Las Vegas, New Orleans and Disneyland's Main Street are the best counter-arguments to such logic.

do you know of any city in the world where there is a specified LIBRARY DISTRICT? or MUSEUM/LIBRARY DISTRICT? as opposed to "Red-Light Districts", or "Gourmet Ghettos", for example? There are certainly "rows" or "avenues" of museums, as in Los Angeles' Miracle Mile... but simply don't think that that's enough. segregating a city's museums is another bad form of segregation.

you ought to come to L.A. if just to visit things like the Museum of Jurassic Technology. i feel like L.A. is such a poorly explained city.. but so is S.F./Bay Area.

3. i think my own love for fascism is restricted to the earlier half of the 20th century. have you read Albert Speer's "Inside the Third Reich"? lots of the writing is devoted to plain people-watching (noticing how soldiers of different nations spend their downtime, differently- Russians Read, Americans chew gum and look at nudie zines, etc...).

ok, enough posting to your blog for now! :p

andrea said...

in retrospect, i feel really bad about even TELLING my dad that i liked this movie. i didn't gush, either.

laura nader sez:

"the term 'generation gap' was invented by the media-advertising-press. i would say that it was invented by 'them' in order to separate mothers from their daughters.

hence, the company, 'GAP'."

hence, indeed. "our generation" has now got its mouth full of "am. apparel".

for chrissakes!

"am. apparel" fucks up world order in so many ways!

for one: look at its december campaign!
i fucking spit (psti spit psit spit) at them... those MOTHER-fuckers.

ordem e progreso!