Book Ageing Machine

Designer Koby Barhad ist aufgefallen, dass Bücher immer öfter als Dekorationsobjekt hergenommen werden und hat eine Maschine erfunden, um sie schneller alt aussehen lassen zu können, damit sie benutzter, gelesener und wertvoller erscheinen. In der Maschine werden die Bücher UV-Strahlung und einer hohen Luftfeuchtigkeit ausgesetzt und so wird ihr Material innerhalb von ein paar Stunden ein Jahr älter. Man kann sie natürlich auch einfach in die Sonne legen oder in die Badewanne schmeißen.

The “Archive of Years to Come” is a book-ageing machine, a chrono-chamber. Inside, a book lives a synthetic history line. Spending four hours inside the chamber is the equivalent of one real year.

The work explores the tendency to glorify the obsolete, to make meaning of a process. It is a technology to give value. The project was originally designed for the “South Lambeth” library in London. It’s purpose was to create a new myth around a historical library building (one of the Tate’s free libraries that is currently under threat of closure). Having no documented history or records of its own past, I decided to create a working “time machine” that enable it to age the present in order to give it a new past.

At the time I was working on the project I noticed that the high streets are filed with shops decorating their goods with old books. £40 shoes standing on a pile of used books, library wallpapers, torn old pages decorating a storefront manikins. Except from what seems as a sale strategy (smart old jeans for intelligent people), it echoes McLuhan’s argument from almost 50 years ago. Books are obsolete and they will become an “art form”. They became materials for new designs, they became an art form, they became the subject of art. So what is that we evaluate in books now?

Archive of Years to Come by Koby Barhad