| ||I spent a lot of today downtown at the library. I poked through the photography section, but mostly I took pictures.|
When I got back, I spent a lot of time discovering that I had a bad FireWire cable between my iBook and my external hard drive. Isn't it funny how you think it's the USB media reader, or you think it's the Finder, or you think it's malformed EXIF headers on the pictures, but it's just a shorting cable.
Meanwhile, outside the library...
This image looks like a collage, but that's Rem Koolhaas' doing, not mine. The building reflects the surroundings back to you, wrapping itself up in the nearby facades.
Same area of the building. There's really no way to capture the whole shape of the building in a long shot, since every angle you'd shoot from would distort the dimensions. Put more simply: The building doesn't look like a building. It doesn't really have a shape; it's just some geometry.
So we go in.
There's an interesting thing about all the doors and entryways. Despite the massive scale, the doors look small. Almost claustrophobic. You wonder how you'll ever fit through them, but you do.
Not too far inside, it's the mirrored hall of donors, and another photographer. Or, I should say, a real photographer; she's documenting Seattle's contribution to The September Project.
The funny story here is that I got into position to shoot her with her eye to the camera, while a gaggle of folks were being led around on a tour behind her. By the time I got set, the elevator had arrived and whisked off the tour group, and she had noticed that my lens was pointed straight at her.
Skipping a lot of interior space on our little photographic tour, we're riding the escalator up to the 'reading room.' Which is, apparently, in the sky.
We've taken the elevator to the very top of the publically-accessible part of the library, where there's a very large area for reading or using the free Wi-Fi. It's also where you see lots of people with cameras. And it's very, very punk. The punks said, 'No Future!' The postmodernists said, 'The future is now!'
At least one postmodernist said, 'No ceiling!'
This is a view from over the Dewey decimal spiral, across Koolhaas' version of an atrium, at the top of the building. The cement wall on the right is actually the core of the building, and it houses the elevators.
The parapet is totally extraneous, and serves no other purpose than to provide you with a place to stand and take a picture. I stood there, and all I could think about was how much information was either standing still or in motion in this city block. Even invisibly, through the air, in the form of WiFi. And that's only the human- and machine-readable information; there's plenty else going on inside, too.
I wrote before about the library, and I cited 'Wings of Desire' as something that came to mind. It came to mind again, while I was up on the parapet. There's a certain quality to this building, from the massive odd shape to the design of the railings (which you can see in the above picture), that make it seem to defy gravity. You feel you could simply form a conduit between two books by effortlessly floating down to a lower level, or folding space so you can hold both at the same time. One hopes real research there would go so smoothly.
| ||Posted 9/13/2004 2:27 AM - 9 Views - 8 eProps - 4 comments|
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