Excert from CHRESTOMATHIA by Helen Broome - a supplementary text to the exhibition at WINDOW Contemporary Art:
One step removed from their subject, do organized systems or approximate models provide a way in to a body of knowledge?
In this respect Charles Lane recognized the daunting nature of vast libraries but assured his 19th century audience that when this gilded barrier of binding is divided and arranged in a natural manner it will become accessible. The only question he leaves is which classification to use. Lane's Map of Human Knowledge is too sparse so from the many systems proposed and then re-categorized under Dewey's universal library I'll turn to 192 B47. This is commonly called Bentham's 'Chrestomathia', a name he coined from two Greek words to mean, 'conducive to useful learning'. Or at least that is Bentham's story...Read Full Text Here:PDF OF 'CHRESTOMATHIA' BY HELEN BROOME
This project centred around a collaboration between myself and Chris de Freitas, an associate professor in the School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science at the University of Auckland. The gallery space, Window, is situated at the entrance to the University Library. The installation consisted of a large-scale diagram drawn onto the glass, a rotating mirror ball and lighting, as well as two video works specific to the show.
The opening event doubled as a celebration launching an animated diagram I produced, modeling feedbacks to changes in the climate system. Chris de Freitas gave a public seminar in a nearby lecture theatre, using the model to discuss ‘feedbacks to initial changes to the climate system’, as well as addressing some current limitations of climate modeling.