Kicking Up Dust

A natural ebb and flow merges where Robotic Librarian lay temporarily dormant, assuming a posture of frayed edges. Or, long time no see.

At least six posts await completion, often begun with a kick of espresso when I haven’t the time to complete them. As I truck along in my third semester, getting my hands dirty with archival dust, I am hoping to discover a continuum of balance for work and play, as well as an affordable wireless connection. Without a connection at home I am discovering that I have difficulty with scripting posts. (Please let me know if you know of a reliable service that would be $20 or less a month…) Part of it is that I no longer have the free time between assignments to relax with hyperlinks and electronic free-association. If I have time to be online, it is planned and a necessary part of my school work for that day. I am in the midst of tackling this, and my eager enthusiasm for discussing librarianship has not dimmed.

In the coming weeks I am developing several different projects concerned with memory, all thematically related by their intimacy with “collective memory.” How do we decide that an event is memorable, and deserves a place of honor or respect in our cultural narrative? The first paper I am working on will be about the UbuWeb archive of avant-garde, ethnopoetic and outside arts. A massive, growing non-profit, wholly volunteer outsider archive, it strives to accumulate documents and evidence related to some fairly obscure threads of human society. Through interviews, videos, images, transcripts, podcasts, blogs and happenings, a wildly cross-cultural portrait is emerging of Ubu Roi and Dada’s children. Like this mesmerizing 1973 Matsuo Ohno video of Taj Mahal Travelers on tour, for instance.

I am also looking into writing a proposal for an internationally focused, professional film archive journal, as well as completing a large final project about the ongoing cultural memories of Black May, Thailand’s 1992 grass-roots uprising against General Kraprayoon’s military dictatorship. The protests led to a bloody confrontation at the Kreung Thep (Bangkok) Democracy Monument, near Rachadamneorn Road. It was slightly overcast in 2005, several days shy of the King’s birthday, when I visited this art deco oddity for the second time during my trip…

Thailand’s Democracy Monument, 02 December 2005

Hopefully I can find video of the surreal television broadcast inspired by the riots, where HM The King publicly berated the two leading political figures, the military man and the democratic leader, before leaving up to the to quell the disturbance caused by their difficulties. Amazingly, the violence ended with a peaceable transfer of power back to the monarchic democracy Thailand has enjoyed for over 70 years. (Anyone who might have access to any online materials about Black May, please let me know, I need anything and everything I can find.)

And so Robotic Librarian is not merely an archive of dust, and you will hear from me again. Until…


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