Thursday, January 22, 2015

Case Study No. 1793: Katherine Lorimer

The Hundred Story House, Interview with librarian Katherine Lorimer
Katherine Lorimer, librarian at the Goethe Institute, NYC, talks about The Hundred Story House, a miniature lending library and public art installation intended for Brooklyn's Cobble Hill park. http://www.kick 193679801/ the-hundred-story-house
Tags: The Hundred Story House Julia Marchesi Leon Reid IV Katherine Lorimer Public Art Public Library
Added: 2 years ago
From: ArtPublic
Views: 637

[scene opens with a female librarian (short brown hair, hoop earrings, black sweater, striped blouse) standing next to a bookshelf and speaking directly to the camera]
KATHERINE: The book is, on the one hand, an old technology, but on the other hand, it's one that doesn't require any technology.
[she takes the book in her hands and flips through the pages]
KATHERINE: You read it, and when you're done, you give it to the next person. No, no wires, n-nothing necessary.
[cut to a still image of the "Hundred Story House" art installation]
KATHERINE: [in voice over] Having someplace for people to bring books, and share books, and just fostering this whole sense of exchange and community is a beautiful idea ... Browsing through categories or clicking through recommendations on Amazon is--
[cut back to the librarian speaking directly to the camera]
KATHERINE: It's, it's kinda sterile and it's lonely, whereas going to a shelf and interacting with books and looking at fonts and looking at pictures and y'know ... Talking to people, and "Hey, I read that!" And that's really great, and that's a shared experience that can't be replicated by anything online.
[cut to another shot of the librarian speaking directly to the camera]
KATHERINE: The intersection of public art and books for the public in a public park ... it's genius.
[she laughs, then cut to a still image of a prototype sculpture for what the "Hundred Story House" art installation will look like]
KATHERINE: [in voice over] To me, part of what I enjoy about public art is that moment of discovery where you come across something and you're like, "Wow, what's this?" And so, if there's a book shelf there--
[cut back to the librarian speaking directly to the camera]
KATHERINE: There's that moment of discovery as well, when you open and you look through and, y'know, maybe you find something that you didn't even know that you were missing.

The Hundred Story House
now fundraising on Kickstarter!

www dot leonthe4th dot com slash 100storyhouse slash 1 dot html



The Hundred Story House had a fantastic opening on September 9th! The House will remain at JJ Byrne Park through October 26th. We encourage all to come, enjoy, READ!

WHERE: JJ Byrne Park, 5th Avenue btwn 3rd & 4th St. Park Slope, Brooklyn.

TRANSIT: G or F Train to 4TH AVE. R Train to 9TH ST.

BRING the books you no longer need. TAKE the books you want to read.

We thank you very much for making our Kickstarter campaign a success! and we plan to realize 100 Story House by Spring/Summer 2012. Backers will receive memorable rewards such as coffee mugs, t-shirts- even original artwork according to the level of contribution. We thank you very much for your support!

"The 100 Story House brings two of my favorite things together; public art and public libraries."

-Katherine Lorimer, Goethe Institute NYC

Julia Marchesi is a Brooklyn-based documentary film producer. She most recently produced and directed an hour of the ten-part series "Finding Your Roots" with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., which will air on PBS in March 2012. Her interest in documentary film was borne out of a desire to explore history through a well-told story. ...She came up with the idea for a miniature lending library the same day she got a Kindle.

Leon Reid IV is a public artist based in Brooklyn, NY. His sculptures have been commissioned in cities throughout the United States, Europe and South America. He holds a B.F.A. in Painting from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and an M.A. in Fine Art form Central St. Martins School of Art and Design in London, U.K. To see more of his work visit



A miniature lending library and public art installation intended for Brooklyn's Cobble Hill park.

Brooklyn is very bookish. If you walk the streets on a fair weathered weekend in certain neighborhoods, you will notice a system of informal and anonymous book-sharing. You will see piles of paperbacks and hardcovers lying on sidewalks or stacked on brownstone steps, available to any passersby looking for a good novel, or a cookbook from 1972.

This tradition is a testament to the limited storage of our homes, but also to the distinctly Brooklyn spirit of small-scale community interactivity that can be possible in a huge metropolis. It also speaks to a shared love of the written word -- as do our many bookstores, public libraries, and coffee shops filled with famous (or soon-to-be) writers at work.

But in our increasingly digitized age, the form that books take has changed, and so has the nature of 'community'. Our laptops and phones and e-readers allow us to withdraw into our insular spaces, changing the way we interact with each other -- and how we experience the written word.

The Hundred Story House is a piece of interactive public art. It is a miniature Brooklyn brownstone whose windows open upon shelves of books (about 100 of them) which can be borrowed by the community.

Situated in the Cobble Hill Park on Clinton Street, the House is a tiny lending library open to all and operating on the honor system -- take-a-book, leave-a-book. This is an effort to celebrate the BOOK as a physical object, and the pleasure of holding one in your hand. Or better yet, placing one in someone else's.

We plan to install the House this Spring, 2012. Your money will be used to cover project expenses such as; materials, fabrication, transportation, installation, maintenance, removal, documentation, insurance, permit fees, and of course-Kickstarter rewards. With enough $ and support we would love to extend this project other parks in NYC. Below is a list of rewards you can receive as a supporter.

* Where are you going to get the books from?

We've already gotten a ton of offers for book donations by people in the Brooklyn area. Some will also be donated by us (Julia and Leon) and the majority of book submissions we hope come from the surrounding community.

* What other parks will the project move to?

We will first observe the response the project gets in Cobble Hill and based on the outcome, we'll decide what park in Brooklyn it should go to next. We would also like it to travel to other boroughs in New York- perhaps even beyond.

* How will you stop people from stealing the books?

We don't consider taking a book from the House 'stealing' if that particular person also gives a book in return. The exchange doesn't have to be immediate. Example: Mary takes a book from the House, reads it, and next week puts a book or two of her own inside -Mary has used the house in a good way. If the surrounding community uses the House accordingly, then it will be a success.

* How will you protect the books from the elements?

1) The House will be built with hard woods such as walnut or oak -materials that can take the rigors of the outdoors and human interaction. 2) the books will be placed inside the windows of the house- the windows are to be set with springs and close automatically upon release. 3) The book compartments will be coated with a sealant to deflect water and other liquids. 4) We will routinely check up on the House and make repairs if and when necessary.

* Why does it cost $13,000 to build The Hundred Story House?

It won't cost $13,000 to build The Hundred Story House. In fact, we estimate that building the House will cost half of that amount.

Our Kickstarter goal of $13k represents the sum total figure to cover ALL project expenses incurred both before and after our Kickstarter campaign. Examples of expenses include -but are definitely not limited to:

Project planning, design and promotion, general liability insurance as is required by NYC Parks department, transportation of sculpture from park to park, on-site installation, on site maintenance, removal, professional documentation, NYC Parks department permit fees, and not to mention the 10% taken off the top by Kickstarter, Amazon and credit card fees, -and we've got to buy and ship the rewards to our backers.



Brooklyn's newest - and smallest - library is currently under construction by two borough artists.

Partners Julia Marchesi and Leon Reid IV are working on a book branch that's just 6-feet high and modeled after a Brooklyn brownstone.

Called the "The Hundred Story House," Marchesi and Reid's work is a celebration of the borough's literary-savvy culture.

The pair want to site the structure in Cobble Hill Park this spring where its 100 books will be available on a take-a-book, leave-a-book honor system.

"This neighborhood and Brooklyn in general is filled with writers and people who appreciate literature in any form," said Marchesi of Cobble Hill. "It's part of the fabric here in Brooklyn, and we wanted to build on a tradition of informal book sharing that already exists in the community."

Marchesi and Reid are also intent reminding the public that a book has and will forever remain an anchor in an otherwise digitally-evolving world.

"This project is meant to be a celebration of books in their physical form, rather than a rejection of the new types of media," said Marchesi, 32.

It was Reid, 32, of Bedford Stuyvesant, who came up with idea of shaping the library as a brownstone.

He added that people tend to regularly leave books on their doorsteps and sidewalks for people to take for free.

"This structure is a way to consolidate (the books) , and create a more organized book-sharing system," said Reid.

Marchesi plans to donate the first 100 books from her own collection and borrow more from friends if necessary.

The duo is working with Kickstarter - an online pledge system for funding creative projects.

Their goal of $13,000 is in sight, but they continue to accept donations as their March 2nd deadline approaches.

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