I found 20 copies of the book All Quiet on the Western Front in a Slovak library in my hometown. Over the years these copies had been used by many readers from the city. Even by me. But the status ‘reader’ reveals no personal information about each individual who read the book. Each of them stands only as a number in the institution of a library. These missing readers are gone, and yet still present, as expressed by apparent marks of usage in the books. The actions of each reader change the book’s appearance and shape the different qualities of each copy. These books: containers filled with stories, tiny bits of intimate lives, opinions are being changed every day, changing in turn every reader who becomes someone else, not only a number.
Object Space Memory
The role of objects in everyday life is often overlooked. We are in contact with an innumerable amount of them. This process of instability and variability affects our actions, habits, thinking, and more. The elements that construct our surroundings play an important role according to their material quality and aesthetic appeal, each with a different meaning and importance. They have the ability to create a bond with us, thanks to the time we spend in their presence. Our self-identification is found, mirrored back to us, in these objects and can differ as they come and go. So then where to look for stability in a relationship and time of constant change?