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the bootleg library

Project details

Master Media Design: Experimental Publishing

The bootleg library is a particular, situated social infrastructure. It operates from the understanding that the library is a collection; a collection of the texts contained within it, and the readers collected around them.

A6 cards used at bootleg library sessions

A physical, travelling collection stored in a former wine-box, a digital collection on a self-hosted server, and moments when readers come together create the conditions for producing texts; by bootlegging, uploading, editing, meeting in small rooms, in small groups and annotating the collection.

The physical bootleg library installed at Varia, Rotterdam, January 2020
The digital bootleg library
bootleg library session at Onomatopee Projects, Eindhoven, March 2020

Tasks of the Contingent Librarian, a text written, edited and performed together, comprises a set of cards and an index of tasks (e.g bootlegging, reading/writing, amateuring, making it public/keeping it private, etc.) defined through the particular activities of the bootleg library.

bootlegging, a card from Tasks of the Contingent Librarian

Tasks of the Contingent Librarian is published in several different forms, printed and digital, including a hyper-linked version called Library of Contingencies*. Although the way they are written or read may vary, each text bears resemblance to the others; ‘originals’ and ‘copies’ alike.

Library of Contingencies*, a digital version of the Tasks of the Contingent Librarian