Recursive Public(ations) Lab

The public library is the most widely used cultural institution, a house for the art form literature, and deeply rooted in democratic enlightenment culture. However recent digitization trends are challenging the traditional functioning of the library such as e.g.

  • the democratisation, amateurization and increasingly commodification/corporatisation of knowledge production, dissemination and sharing (e.g. Wikipedia, Google, the increasing marketization of universities)
  • new commercial models for online distribution of cultural content (e.g. Spotify, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon)
  • new formats and media (e.g. ebooks, tablets, smartphones, print on demand, electronic literature)
  • and new ways of writing, reading, publishing and (co-)producing (open access, open data vs controlled consumption)

However, the challenges come together with some opportunities as well for the library to be a hub in a future democratic and open, smart city. In this way, the library through a transformation has unique possibilities for remaining a space for seeking, sharing and producing knowledge and for being a space for an open, critical democratic public where the users are seen and see each other as resources.

In this case PIT researchers aim to explore the future library through different experiments, analyses and collaborations with libraries (e.g. with Roskilde and Aarhus Libraries in folkelab.dk, Litteraturen finder sted (www.netlitteratur.dk) and the development of Aarhus’ new library Urban Media Space/Dokk1),  cultural institutions, museums and producers (Godsbanen, Aarhus Kunsthal, Ubermorgen, Edition Afterhand), citizen services and municipal organisations connected through the Smart Aarhus initiative.

Research questions:

  1. How can we create platforms for co-production with open data in an open world?
  2. How are forms of co-production challenging the library/urban media space as institution? How can the urban media space be a frame for exchange of culture and knowledge between works and networks?