Brandon LaBelle








Public Jukebox

Libraries function as spaces of knowledge, structuring history and culture through the organization of published materials, from books to CDs, from records to archives. Institutionally they provide public services by granting access to its materials, and thereby dramatically shaping the circulation of information, data, and cultural record through social spaces. Public Jukebox makes an addition to the Robert Desnos Public Library by inviting the input of public users: asking visitors to select their favourite CD from the music library catalogue, these come to form an unofficial shape to the library by visually marking the selected CDs and introducing individual stories and memories onto their surfaces. Database, archive, and collection then come to contain personal viewpoint, private voices, and idiosyncratic information, which form an additional layer to the library. This information is turned into a daily broadcast of songs selected by the library workers and played through speakers mounted inside and outside the library, to play back, through a form of public feedback, the selected works, transformed through real-time computer manipulation into a sonic presence. In addition, the exterior garden is used as a space of lyrical content – a kind of public page – by applying phrases, lyrics, and memories related to selected CDs located throughout the garden.

Exhibited at Robert Desnos Public Library, Paris
September 23 - November 19, 2006 as part of Instants Chavirés Lieux Communs festival