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What's That in the Staircase?

a gentle brain washing
Sarah Goetz
Visitors to Perkins Library may notice an unusual new addition to the Fish staircase on the northeast side of the building (close to the Perkins/Bostock connector).

An art installation recently went up over Spring Break by Duke senior and Visual Studies major Sarah Goetz. Titled "a gentle brain washing," the piece consists of mesh, thread, and pages from the Encyclopedia Americana (entries "Burma-Cathay") folded into shapes.

Here's what Goetz has to say about the work:

"'a gentle brain washing' hopes to question archives as sources of collective memory and encyclopedic knowledge. The piece was inspired by the physical manifestations of information networks and the neurological processes of memory consolidation. Airflow and information flow complicate the status of individual strands of ideas-creating changing connections over time. It is part of my broader goal to explore relationships between memory, space, and the ongoing quest for information, knowledge, and truth."

Some viewers may recognize Goetz's work from the Biddle Music Building, where it was recently on display last fall. You can read an article about that and see more photos of Goetz's installation in the Biddle Music Building here.

"a gentle brain washing" will remain on display in the Fish staircase in Perkins Library until May.
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Posted 17 March 2011

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Last modified March 30, 2011 11:39:08 AM EDT