Narratives is inspired by the rich history of Johnson County and the fact that libraries are heavily used by younger and older demographics. Permanent yet ever changing, Narratives is composed of a large array of images from the Johnson County Historical Archive that are projected in random combinations and durations to create spontaneous stories and visual connections. Narratives is illustrated below, sited in the library’s atrium. By using translucent scrims, the piece maintains the lightness of the space.
Realization consists of three components:
- Three or more suspended translucent scrims, each with a dedicated projector
- A bank of images selected from the Johnson County Historical Archive, and potentially other sources
- A computer program designed to randomly select images for projection and assign a variable duration
Narratives includes an interface for library visitors to create their own narratives and to learn more about the images: Using the interface, visitors browse and select images to be projected. This could be accomplished via a dedicated terminal in the library, a web-based interface that allows people who are remote from the library to interact with the artwork, or a mobile app that allows visitors within the library to interface with the artwork from their mobile devices.
River is a work inspired by the library as an ever-changing and regenerating source of knowledge. For library users, River will be an interactive experience that transforms their search for knowledge into a part of the artwork, taking the library customers’ activities and transforming them into an illuminated river of text. In River, each library visitor’s effort will find its presence within the artwork itself.
The first component of River is a comprehensive list of resource titles and author names held by the library system. The resulting list will be displayed in a dynamic, flowing list, live-streamed in a large, vertical display. Every time a library customer borrows or downloads a resource, or searches the card catalog, that activity will trigger an incremental movement of the river of type. The busier the library is, the faster the river will flow. The typography representing the list will cascade down the library in a shape that mirrors the banks of the Kansas River that form the northern border of Johnson County. River will be in constant motion and will telegraph to the public the level of community engagement with the library.
Siting Rivers adjacent to the second floor terrace provides multiple points of view. The installation can also be a light-emitting beacon at night, making the library a community landmark, potentially visible from the surrounding roads.