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The Sketchbook Project: 30,000 Art Books You Can’t Buy

by • February 6, 2014 • Brooklyn MakersComments Off1402

It took me a couple of minutes to understand what was The Sketchbook Project’s scheme. I mean, you get inside a store stacked with 30,000 different books, BUT you cannot buy them or even take them off the shelves. Interesting.

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To open any book in this Art Library, you have to login on a computer in the back. It has a Pandora / Songza kind of user interface where you get to indicate your mood and interest. The software then analyses your query and curates two books for you. A store clerk then receives your pick and brings the books to your table.

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“All these books are unique. They all have been draw by ordinary people from all walks of life. When a book is consulted in the library, the artist who made it receives a notification by email.”

Anyone can buy a blank sketchbook at the store or online for $25. Once the book is filled with your drawings, you simply have to ship it back to the Brooklyn Art Library and it will be inserted in the collection.

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“Some chose to also play with the texture and the cover. But everybody starts with the same sketchbook. And don’t even say: But I’m not an artist! From writers, to poets, to photographers, we use the word ‘sketchbook’ as a loose term for experimentation in creativity.”

You can find The Sketchbook Project on 103 N 3rd St, Williamsburgh. Part of the collection is also moving across the country inside a mobile unit, visiting 40+ cities. Inside, it holds 4,500 sketchbooks. Find out where they are heading next.

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