Postcards from the Bibliopolis – Library art project

If you see these in the Barr Smith Library – don’t panic! They’re an artwork installed within the library shelving.

This work, by Adelaide-based artist Ash Tower, records people’s interactions with the vast system of the Barr Smith Library. Over a month, discarded notes and fragments of handwriting were collected from the books and shelving within the library. These notes record individuals’ engagement with the archive of knowledge, some detailing reference numbers of books, others are reminders and to-do lists.

Embedding these handwritten moments in book-sized blocks of resin serves to highlight the thoughts and processes performed within the library by its users. The resin ‘books’ quietly move through the library system as regular books do, causing unexpected interactions and encounters with these human traces. Ultimately these recorded thoughts provoke an awareness of the way humans use systems to organize information otherwise too vast for any one person to know or contain.

Ash Tower is an Adelaide-based artist studying a Bachelor of Visual Art (BVA) at the Adelaide Central School of Art.
His other work can be seen at

Postcards from the Bibliopolis is part of ‘Uncharted Territory’, an exhibition of work by graduates from the School showcasing their work at the completion of their studies. For further details of ‘Uncharted Territory’, visit

The installation will continue until 12 January 2014




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