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Optical Readings

Part 2 Project 2006
Elizabeth Jacobs
University of Greenwich UK
Optical Readings creates a cultural history for Medway, a new city searching for an identity. Two libraries evolve as separate buildings with different forms, responding to their unique environments and the objects they hold. All the while, both libraries remain true to the aim of the collection, to celebrate the culture of the people of Medway and to celebrate the special nature of the objects they contain; the written word and the photographic image. Two recorders of memory and time passed, and their own imprint to the city and slowly building into a historical record.
Elizabeth Jacobs

'Gateway Games' and Medway in particular have been the focus of our academic frame over the last few years; crossed with a Perecian ordering system and a dose of psychogeography layered into the library programme has created Optical Readings. Liz and Paula have played a subtle schizophrenic game with image and text, photograph and the book fabricating a new recording and interpretation of 'Chav' city and the home of Charles Dickens (& his Swiss Chalet). The ordering of books - their classification, falling, recycling meets the subjective space of the photograph; left and right sides of the brain meet, the logic and the subjective.

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