Launching later this month, ‘The Speculative Space of Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums’ project will comprise a series of creative workshops that explore the critical ground that exists between science fiction (sf) and Gallery, Library, Archive and Museum (GLAM) spaces and collections. It will consider depictions of GLAM spaces in sf media, existing collections and exhibitions which contain sf media, and sf as a creative practice for engagement and critical reflection within GLAM spaces, looking to the imaginative futures and alternate presents of sf to critically reflect on the futures of these spaces and institutions.
In November 2022, Noriko Suzuki-Bosco, Amy Butt, and I ran a workshop at Winchester School of Art called ‘Retracing the Library’. The workshop was part of the UK’s Being Human Festival, an annual event that showcases work across the Arts and Humanities.
We came together to try and find ways to make something new and collaborative out of our shared interests in artists’ books, critical making, science fiction, environment, and the institutional spaces we occupy. For the first workshop we settled on Winchester School of Art library as a location, both because Noriko and I are based in Winchester, and because the library here has a particularly interesting environment and history.
Over the course of two hours, participants traced the library’s journey from the overflow shelves at its current location, to the gallery space it was rescued from during the flood of 1999, to the moated glass Rotunda where it began life in 1965. In each space participants were asked to remake and reimagine the library in a way that was meaningful to them.