The Big Ideas Bookstore and Cafe
Made by Talia Lesjack-Randall
Created: November 6th, 2014
When you arrive in the space. Think about the words that come to mind when you take in the scene in front of you? Why do they come to mind?
Cozy, home, contentment. This bookstore reminds me of home in Boulder. Everything is reused or repurposed, the colors are warm and inviting, each item is old, but picked and placed with placed with care. People are sitting with their laptops as though they've been there for hours, and they too are dressed in second hand items.
What are the objects you see directly in front of you? Name each of them in your mind.
There are bookshelves, though the one to my left has an odd gap in the back. It looks like it was made for cords to go through, so it must have been an entertainment system in a past life. Each shelf is old and has nothing to do with the ones around it. They are all different colors of wood and laminate, different heights and composition. The entertainment stand has tall shelves and is labeled 'oversized' instead with any genre. Between the two shelves immediately in front of me there is a gap exactly wide enough for the floor lamp sitting there. Above the lamp is a poster that says 'Our passion for freedom is stronger than their prisons', which seems oddly strong for our political climate. There is also, inexplicably, a carved rabbit in the middle of the floor. It is about 8x6x6 and the spot beneath it on the wood floor is rubbed raw, almost as though people run into it a lot. I can't explain its reason for being there.
Imagine there are lines drawn between all of objects or things in the space? How are they connected? Are they organized?
The lines go off at angles that are just slightly off from each other. Where they should be straight, like the tops of the book selves, they are slightly off. One shelf is a little taller than the one next to it, another is about the right height but is capable of holding books on top. Almost like the books themselves, which are all different sizes and heights. However, within this chaos of size and shape there is an order to the placement. The front faces of the books on the shelves are all flat against each other, the shelves themselves are lined up carefully to be even as well.
Close your eyes for a minute and open them again. Where do your eyes go to? Why do you think they land in this location?
The patch of teal wall behind the floor lamp. It's one of the brightest spots I can see, being so close to the light, and the harsh brightness shows the age of the wall there. Under the cheery teal paint, you can see that the drywall was chipped and cracking. There are spots where nails were taken out and the holes were spackled over. It draws my eye because it is so bright and the teal color stands out against all of the warm, soft colors of the shelves, posters, and old books.
Close your eyes for a minute and open them again. What are the colors that you see best or appeal to you most? Why is that?
On top of the shelf, three books are on display. 'Motion of light in water' 'the god of small things' 'counseling american minorities'. I can't think of a common thread, but they are all casually different sizes and have aesthetically pleasing covers. Tones of burgundy and brown, with accentsnof blue, green and yellow. Were they even chosen for the content, or for the look? The other posters say 'there no shame in having an abortion' 'solidarity with Palestinian people', worldly, colorful, same color scheme as the display books. These colors are warm and inviting, they are comforting and make me feel at home.
Look around. Is there anything you can’t see or can’t see well?
The other side of the back room I am in is obscured by a bookcase int the center of the floor. I assume it looks the same as this side, but I think there might also be another table and chairs tucked back in there. I got a glimpse of it when I was coming in.
Look around. What are the textures that you see? How do the feel to you?
Bookshelves are uneven and made of different colors of wood. Black laminate, glossy and scuffed. Smooth to the touch, a bit cool. Some cheap wood, I can almost feel thee grain in it. One of an older wood, soft from wear. The bits of page I can see in the books are varying shades of white and yellow, and I can imagine the difference between the smooth, sturdy white that smells of ink and the thin, delicate, musty smelling white. The section markers are cardboard, cut carefully and placed between the books. The names are written in careful caps using a sharpie, I can imagine how it feels to turn the marker so that the fat side is always facing forward. The floor is really hardwood. Light, old, full of knots and cracks. But worn smooth over time. This is in direct contrast with the ceiling. Its a drop ceiling but the tiles are yellow and sagging from water damage. Two are missing and I can see the insulation above. Yellow with brown marks and cobwebs, it looks filthy. If untouched it I'm sure the fibers would snag on my calluses like a cotton ball and pull. The odd thing it the set of tracks. They look kw the curtain tracks they have in hospitals, but small. Almost as though walls were added that cut off the other part of what used to be a patient area, but that can't be it because both ends have caps that look intentional. So it is just two separate 2x2 corners. Not use able for anything. How did that happen? What could the purpose be? How did I not notice any of this before? It must bee that the room is so busy and full that I had no need to look up. There is nothing to draw your attention above the tops of the shelves, and the room is so narrow that I really do have to tilt my head up in order to see anything of the ceiling.
Let your mind wander. Where does it go? What do you think about and how is that related to the space around you?
One of the oversized books is huge and old, a dictionary. Its hardback, but has no cover and any finish on the binding is long worn away. Its the color of old canvas, with one long, bright ccrease. I wonder what would be seen if I opened it to that place, the one that made the cvrease. Is there some fascinating word or image, a word that a childhood spelling champion struggled with and stared at for hours, an arbitrary page that a house wife thought looked casual enough to her guests that she left it there to seem intelligent, or is it something else? The page where a young girl left a young boy love letters? Are the pages inside cut away to hide some secret?
If you attention shifts, what has it landed on? Why do you think your eye moved to this location?
One of the oversized books is huge and old, a dictionary. Its hardback, but has no cover and any finish on the binding is long worn away. Its the color of old canvas, with one long, bright ccrease. I wonder what would be seen if I opened it to that place, the one that made the cvrease. Is there some fascinating word or image, a word that a childhood spelling champion struggled with and stared at for hours, an arbitrary page that a house wife thought looked casual enough to her guests that she left it there to seem intelligent, or is it something else? The page where a young girl left a young boy love letters? Are the pages inside cut away to hide some secret? Also, that rabbit! I could not for the longest time understand what it was doing there, or why it was allowed to ruin the floor. It looks like it is made of red stained wood, with a black collar. Its faded around the ears and feet. Turns out it s used to hold the bathroom door open when no one is using it. It gets kicked into and out of place, constantly changing orientation as it goes. IT makes more sense in this context, but when the door is closed it is still so weirdly alone in the middle of the floor. Such a large, strange object.