Participation Reference 1

Recolecciones by Mel Chin

This is an artwork integrated into the Martin Luther King Jr. Library commissioned by the San Jose Public Art Program. There are 33 artworks around the library and are meant to “pay homage to the Library’s book collections.” “The library is a place where people can come together to recall and reformulate their common heritage, a place designed for “re-col-lection,” that is, etymologically, “reading or harvesting again togehter.” They are meant to provoke visitors’ interest and curiosity which will ultimately result in exploration and circulation around the library and mystery and discovery of wonderful surprises. The fact that each of these installations are site-specific is also important in inspiring wonder and thinking for visitors.

“The artworks vary from large and dramatic statements to intimate and subtle insertions that may require numerous visits to discover. The Recolecciones artworks include functional installations such as chairs, tables and shelves, as well as wall paneling, sculptural ceilings, curious light projections, and more traditional formal sculpture. Some of the concepts are invested with a sense of humor, while others are designed to encourage contemplation.”


“Fiction/Fiction: As in many great mystery novels, the Brandenburg Browsing Area contains a secret rotating bookcase. One side of the shelf is stocked with faux mystery books, the other with current popular-fiction titles.”

“These five functional reading tables, located adjacent to the Geology Section, map the shape of the Gondwanaland. The granite of each table was quarried from the continent it recalls. The tables are on casters, referring to the tectonic activity of the Earth’s surface, ever evident in California.”

I like the idea of making a learning space even more immersive and integrating to visitors who become participants in a larger learning process. These take on the form of discovery, imagining, and deeper thought process. They are engaging to viewers and make learning a play.

PDF of all the pieces!!!

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