logotopia in Liang 2012

brary.nu](library.nu) and Mecca stores if not
the word library? As spaces they may have little in common but as virtual
spaces they speak as equals even if the scale of their imagination may differ.
All of them partake of their share in the world of logotopias. In an
exhibition designed to celebrate the place of the library in art, architecture
and imagination the curator Sascha Hastings coined the term logotopia to
designate “word places”—a happy coincidence of architecture and language.

There is however a risk of flattening the differences between these spaces by
classifying them all under a single utopian ideal of the library. Imagination
after all has a geography and physiology and requires our alertness to these
distinctions. Lets think instead of an entire pantheon (both of spaces as well
as practices) that we can designate as shadow libraries (or shadow logotopias
if you like) which exist in the shadows cast by the long history of monumental
libraries. While they are often dwarfed by the idea of the library, like the
shadows cast by our bodies, sometimes these shadows surge ahead of the body.

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s while around two hundred thousand books
exist as bits and bytes on my computer. Admittedly hard drives crash and data
is lost, but is that the same threat as those of rain or fire? Which then is
my library and which its shadow? Or in the spirit of logotopias would it be
more appropriate to ask the spatial question: where is the library?

If the possibility of having 200,000 books on one’s computer feels staggering
here is an even more startling statistic. The Library of Congress which is the
largest l


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