In 1941, Jorge Luis Borges wrote his famous short story “The Library Of Babel,” in which every possible book that has ever or could ever exist lives on the bookshelves of a seemingly endless expanse of hexagonal rooms. However, the excess of available information leaves the inhabitants of the library in a perpetual state of anguish and depression.
Two artists, Daniel Temkin and Rony Maltz, were inspired by Borges’ captivation with the expansiveness of language and created the installation Borges Library, on view this month at the Dumbo Arts Festival and MoMa PS1’s New York Art Book Fair. The installation, a gigantic word search projection, began as an app, yet the artists noticed the level of participation with the piece increased dramatically when it became viewable on a large-scale. Writes DJ Pangburn at Motherboard, “At the first exhibition of Borges Library at 3 Legged Dog, Maltz noticed that the public was able to engage with the work on a level that remote, web-based private playing wouldn’t allow.”