iArts Goes to Bellevue
An exercise in self-restraint: that is how I would characterize The Book Borrowers, an exhibit of altered books at the Bellevue Art Museum. A group of eleven iSchoolers bussed to Bellevue on June 5th for an end-of-the-quarter fieldtrip organized by iArts to see this exhibit before its end on June 14th.
One reason I am studying librarianship rather than museology is that museums strike me as a bit disingenuous. Museologists like to wax poetic about the importance of the tactile, but they never let you touch anything. This exhibition was particularly trying in this respect. Many of the group noted that they had an acute desire to caress the cheek of a sculptural bust made of old phone books. Also, two cunningly crafted machines made of wire and string were just there, on the wall, begging for someone to turn their crank. Instead, we were directed to watch the video on the Bellevue Art Museum website. They did not even have a gloved museum attendant there to turn the crank for us, but instead relied on the internet to satisfy the yearning, this "information need" as the kids say these days; and really, I did not go all the way the Bellevue to be directed to a website. Yes, this exhibit was pretty nice, but it would have been more enjoyable if my nagging-mother image had not been screaming “Don't TOUCH!” and “You break it, you buy it!” in my head the entire time.
Post- museum crawl, most participants sought food and drink in tidy and hygenic Bellevue except for those of us who felt a strong urge to get back to Grit City as soon as possible. Katie Monks and I began a really long bus journey back to Tacoma, yet another exercise in self-restraint, though completely worth it for me because Monks divulged a sandwich recipe that sounds potentially Life Altering. And deliciously tactile. Ask her about it sometime.