Library Stack

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PublisherLibrary Stack2019
Underground nuclear and military materials have been the subject of international commissions, tribunals, and wars. Yet subterranean facilities also commonly inventory a similarly volatile, though less noxious, resource: information. SubTropolis’s central location, solidity, and security have drawn technology companies, who host data centers in the mine’s massive pillared rooms. Many underground garrisons and command centers of the Cold War era have likewise become “data bunkers.” Given that industrial metaphors of “mining” and “smithing” have long pervaded the discourses of intellectual labor, it should be no surprise that we’re now data mining inside our mines. And alongside the subterranean servers and ...
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Immutable: Designing History explores the graphic genealogy of the document and its entanglement with statecraft and colonial(ism/ity). This is framed as a roughly 5,000 year chronology, imbricating the developments of money and writing from Mesopotamian clay tablets to distributed blockchain ledgers. Immutability figures as a design imperative and hermeneutic for considering securitization techniques (material, technological, administrative) against the entropy of a document’s movement through space, time and the political. This project is proposed as a counter-position to the imperatives of graphic design education, which foregrounds logos, books, websites and branding while passports, money and property deeds constitute the field’s more profoundly ...
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Author Chris Lee in conversation with scholars Shannon Mattern, Francisco Laranjo and Lisa Gitelman about the new eBook Immutable: Designing History, which traces the evolving graphic strategies of documents, money and writing and their entanglements with statecraft and colonialism. This event took place online on June 15th, 2022.
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PublisherLibrary Stack2022
The history charted by the museum will be familiar to anyone who’s taken an introductory typography class. It begins with models of cuneiform tablets and Egyptian hieroglyphics, which slowly lead into alphabets by the North Semitic, the Phoenicians, the early- and classical-Greeks, the Etruscans, and then the Modern Roman characters we read in the west today, with significant attention paid to the technologies that made such writing and printing possible. The museum also features rooms dedicated to the development of Cyrillic, Aramaic, Arabic, Hebrew, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Cherokee, and Indic writing systems. Each room communicates a profound fascination ...
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PublisherLibrary Stack2019
In 2015, the American Library Association adopted the Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries; since then, other international organizations have been quick to go along with the proposal, reporting on the potential relationship between sustainability and libraries. However, such documents (which, in general, support the role of librarians in building “sustainable, resilient and regenerative” communities and making “sustainable decisions”) remain purely statements of intent… that include a handful of trendy topics in their paragraphs, and fall short of being credible action plans. It is worrying to note that, despite the seriousness and urgency of the discussion, these statements tiptoe ...
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PublisherLibrary Stack2019
MILTON FANGLINN: My name is Milton Fanglinn. I don’t teach, no. I work in the antiquities industry as a kind of. . . well let’s say a freelance scholar. I run a small consulting business, first out of New York but now from London, authenticating and researching the provenance of ancient objects in the field. Most of these don’t things have paper- work, or known owners, and are probably never going to be seen by the public. I have worked discreetly for many of the finest museums in the world, none of which would ever want its competitors to know ...
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To celebrate the ebook Ming Romantic: Collected and Bound, 2nd Edition, authors Caspar Lam and YuJune Park (Synoptic Office) are in conversation with contributor Chris Wu (Wkshps) about the origins of the Ming Romantic typeface, their shared practices across the field of graphic design, and their wider research into Chinese typography. The discussion ranges widely, from bilingual design to the 2008 Beijing Olympics to using AI for imagining new forms of Chinese type.
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Ming Romantic: Collected and Bound, 2nd Edition folds together reproductions of historical documents with contemporary texts to examine how Chinese typography can evolve through the use of digital tools and manipulation of form. The ebook also illustrates the design process of Ming Romantic, a display face reinterpreting a style of printed type originating in China’s Song and Ming dynasties. The typeface imagines how the character set could look when divorced from the effects of the brush. Ming Romantic comprises three sections: “Possibilities: Typographic Speciation”; “Translations—Putting It Together: Conversations about Language & Form, Ming Romantic, and It’s Our Ming”; and “Myths: Chinese ...
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PublisherLibrary Stack2019
The iPhone 3G, this innocuous and already slightly outmoded little cluster of minerals and marketing, is an emblematic meeting point for the material and symbolic processes shaping the contemporary entanglement of social and geologic stratifications: both product and engine of the great cleavages of the global economy, those geopolitical fractures that Marxist critics refer to with euphemistic kid gloves as “uneven development;” a treasured possession bound up with resource wars and environmentally destructive extraction practices driven by a rapacious global system of neo-colonial corporate-feudalism; the consumer excretion of a world where exhausted Chinese factory workers are driven to suicide satisfying ...
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PublisherLibrary Stack2020
…There’s no thing for a library to buy and shelve, nor a standardized way to price the media files originating in a platform’s attention economy, where value only correlates to further exchanges of other kinds of labor. In library science terms, these publications might be thought of as the digital versions of realia, physical objects that resist classification but must be cataloged and stored anyways, like honorary jars of dirt, textiles, or other material leftovers from daily life…
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PublisherLibrary Stack2018
A conversation between Library Stack and Léopold Lambert, a French publisher, editor, writer, theorist, podcaster and researcher working under the name The Funambulist. Lambert started The Funambulist as a blog, while working at an architecture firm, but its expanding publication activities over the past five years have turned it into his full time job. Lambert’s podcast series, and a few of his books, are archived in Library Stack’s database, and his diverse output has been inspiring. This conversation ranged across his work as a publisher, his practice as an experimental cartographer, and his current research into the spatial history of ...
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PublisherLibrary Stack2019
The discourse of sustainability in architecture is often associated with eco-capitalism: the theory and practice of a free-market economy in which natural resources are regarded as capital. Since profits are partially dependent on environmental protection, nature is treated as a commodity that needs to be restored after it is exploited for economic growth. This results in a looped accounting cycle of checks and balances… Likewise, the economic incentives for using “green technology” to create new markets rarely consider how these competitive, profit-driven scenarios will necessitate (new) forms of social mistreatment in order to flourish. Herein lies the crux of the ...

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