In the Stacks: Print Wikipedia
Arizona State University Art Museum + Library
February 24-May 1, 2016.
“Print Wikipedia” is a both a utilitarian visualization of the largest accumulation of human knowledge and a poetic gesture towards the futility of the scale of big data. Michael Mandiberg wrote software that parsed the entirety of the English-language Wikipedia database (in April 2015) and programmatically laid out thousands of volumes, complete with covers, and then uploaded them for print-on-demand. Built on what is likely the largest appropriation ever made, it is also a work of found poetry that draws attention to the sheer size of the encyclopedia’s content and the impossibility of rendering Wikipedia as a material object in fixed form: Once a volume is printed it is already out of date. The work is also a reflection on the actual transparency or completeness of knowledge containers and history.
The exhibition at Hayden Library will include a selection of 61 Wikipedia volumes and schematic wallpaper showing what the scale would be of an entire print library of Wikipedia volumes. These will be located near the Encyclopedia Section on Level 1 of Hayden Library. The 36 volume Wikipedia Contributors Appendix will be on view on the entrance level, which will also feature a projected scroll simulating all of the volumes and the articles they span.
Michael Mandiberg (born 1977, Detroit) is an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and educator. He received his M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts and his B.A. from Brown University. His work traces the lines of political and symbolic power online, working on the internet in order to comment on and intercede in the real flows of information. A recipient of residencies and commissions from Eyebeam, Rhizome.org, and Turbulence.org, his work has been exhibited at the New Museum, Ars Electronica, ZKM, and Transmediale. He directs the New York Arts Practicum, and is a co-founder of the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. He is Associate Professor at the College of Staten Island/ CUNY and a member of the Doctoral Faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center. His work has been written about widely, including in The New York Times, Berliner Zeitung, ARTNews, and Artforum. He lives and works in Brooklyn; his work lives at Mandiberg.com.
The ASU Libraries is pleased to present this exhibition of Michael Mandiberg’s work in partnership with the the ASU Art Museum, Herberger School of Art, and Denny Gallery in New York City.
Read more on State Press.