School of Information Sciences

Digital Libraries Colloquium Series

Sponsored by the School of Computer Science-Carnegie Mellon University, the School of Information Sciences-University of Pittsburgh, the University Library System-University of Pittsburgh, the University Libraries-Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Lowry Burgess

Professor of Art

Wednesday, March 1, 2006
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Rangos 3, University Center, Carnegie Mellon University

"Muses in the Library"

Abstract: It is my contention that as the 'cyber-ization' of information provides more and more disembodied information access, the physical library becomes eroticized (a place of direct social and sensory contact) and more a 'muse-eum' where the various muses dwell-those companions of Apollo, guardian of boundless human inspiration. The new library becomes a 'Wunderkammer,' a place for 'musing' and wonder, a place of direct contact and interaction with people, ideas, and multiple library objects and systems.

However, existing information systems are generally blind to human factors and exhibit a preponderance of 'geek-dumb.' I propose that multimedia and integrated media projects and interfaces could effectively interact with and enhance the actuality of a library, creating an ideal new library. The challenge is to envision such a library and to build test projects to inform future library systems and physical design at Carnegie Mellon.

Bio: Lowry Burgess is an internationally renowned environmental artist/poet and educator. He is Professor of Art and former dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon. He is a distinguished fellow in the Studio for Creative Inquiry that supports advanced research in the interdisciplinary arts and a member of the Center for the Arts and Society, both at Carnegie Mellon. Among other distinguished academic appointments, he was a fellow and senior consultant at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 25 years. His artworks and documents are in museums, archives and collections in the US, Europe and Japan. He is a staunch library supporter and patron.


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