Access Point • Ranelle Dial

Feb 4 to Feb 27, 2016 • Upstairs Gallery

How does the library exist as a repository in this age of digital technology? Ranelle Dial’s solo exhibition revisits the idea of the library as an access point of knowledge: how books as channels of epistemology continue to persist and resist obsolescence despite the aggressive development and dissemination of digital and virtual technology. The advent of the latter has raised the question of whether books have “had their day”, replaceable by other channels of exchanging texts, knowledge, and ideas, or whether libraries as physical spaces are now alien to the current generation of digital natives occupying cyberspace.

Dial argues otherwise: repositioning libraries and dear as places for reading the world. In Access Point, Dial recreates the library space and bookshelf, calling attention to how the fundamental and traditional practice of reading serves as a base station for generating new understanding. She titles the works after binary numbers used in the Dewey Decimal System, alluding to the taxonomy and architecture of knowledge that libraries have historically made possible. An installation using a video hologram of a book alludes to the false dichotomy made between physical and digital forms of knowledge. In the end, the act of reading—whether manually or digitally—is needed to build a critical consciousness of the world beyond the reading rooms we inhabit.

—Lisa Ito