//For it takes a great deal of room, of sacrifice, of energy, a great deal of mutilation and of many corpses, in order for the "average man" to become auto-mobile and to take himself for a nomad. Gilles Chatelet, To Live and Think Like Pigs//
Thought experiment: A tactical inversion (occupation?) of the concepts Cathedral and Library seen through an anarchist/communitarian lens generates a ‘church of reason’ (“active nihilism as religion of zero”) governing a modular network of materially-independent monasteries dedicated to a politically-neutral system of free knowledge production and curation that can be extended to include the Academy and Nature itself (Groys). This structure can be further expanded into the /curation of realities/ in multiple ways, one of which being that it is not overshadowed or dominated by concurrent archiving attempts, rather parasiting off any available archive, growing in political and social power to the extent it makes information radically available to more users. The Library functions as a conduit holding open flows of information to particularly disenfranchised and lower-class individuals and groups, eliminating the need to purchase access (IE the internet, newspapers, etc) and effectively unionizing the pursuit of information. The library has no boundaries in terms of information/media with which it may interact or territorialize, and is potentially able to maintain informational flows of any shape, size, or source without bias. I contend that the library can (and should) be rethought into the primary administrative facility of any institution that possesses or generates one (reification/root system/social network), in order to subsume all functions of the institution into a rational topological framework capable of archiving any information, regardless of complexity, even information that lies in direct opposition to truth, dominant ideologies, cultural norms, etc, including an archive/arsenal of navigational toolkits. The Library resists censorship (“censorship is perceived as damage”) and could motivate that resistance toward limitations in capacities. This resistance could be achieved through use of blockchain administration, communitarian self-sufficiency (“charging” for library access with time-banked volunteering?), renewable resource usage (diverting current resources toward solar panels, urban farming endeavours, etc), and physical automation to systematically free resources and Librarians up for research; social tasks such as community safety, teaching, child care, and farming (any of which may be eventually automated themselves); and maintenance of the system (technological, physical, and mental health/engineering) while repackaging and repurposing the Church’s former glory and power with a religious zealotry for expansive, never-ending, radically inclusive education and information-dissemination. With this resistance to collapse engaged in an ongoing strategy of community-reification, we can suggest the Library as a gesture toward a complex triagonalism between Church, State, and Academy without diminishing the importance of, or interrelation between, the universes of discourse considered to be the purview of each (but with God in the proper section of the archives and an aggressively hyperinclusive acquisitions policy). In future essays I will unpack the religious angle more deeply, as well as further explore whether we can use the Library metaphor to construct a diagonal argument between democracy and meritocracy without collapsing into dictatorship and tyranny on the one hand // catastrophic homogeneity or rule by the least common denominator on the other - a system of rule by those most effective and creative at the protection, navigation, and dissemination of the broadest possible knowledge base(philosopher-king/guardian hybrid)?
1st Week contribution to
Outer Edges: 21st Century Spatial Metapolitics