Thing Library Project is a research based Visual Arts class in which students investigate critical theories of “thingness” and design and create artwork (designed objects, sculptures, utilitarian goods, garments etc.) to establish an object lending library within the Crossett Library. This collection of three-dimensional items will be classified and catalogued for circulation into the Bennington College community. The contents of the “Thing Library” will be cross-referenced to specific books in the Crossett Library’s collection by utilizing the Library of Congress classification schemes and their systematic organizational logic of Call Numbers.
This is a Visual Arts class designed to expand understanding of objects not only through historical, social, political, economic and cultural contextualization but also through the actual process of making an object. As well as gaining a deeper knowledge of reference tools in an academic library setting, we will also explore interdisciplinary approaches to examine the socio-cultural framework of human-object interrelation in the discourse of contemporary art, anthropology, science or literature. Ultimately a specific archival record for each object will be created. It may contain factual material data, record of circulation, photograph or another kind of visual representation, bibliography, and reference footnotes that can be used to create a hypothetical understanding or even an imaginative speculative reading of the object.