Archive of the Average Swede by Fabian Kastner

Softcover, 64 pages, color, 5 (w) × 7.5 (h) inches
Cabinet Books, 2017
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The fourth volume of Cabinet’s “24-Hour Book” series, Fabian Kastner’s Archive of the Average Swede considers a project initiated by Sweden’s National Archive in the early 1980s designed to fully record the life of a typical citizen. The archive’s subject was a randomly selected government worker, at the time an employee of Stockholm’s municipal bus service, who agreed to begin donating his personal papers to the collection. The man, however, turned out to be a very different figure than what the archive had hoped for. Adrift in a society undergoing fundamental transformations, the “average Swede” slowly descended over the years into bitter derangement, overwhelming the institution with masses of indiscriminate materials that the archivists were finally forced to refuse.

This book, a collaboration between Cabinet and Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, was commissioned on the occasion of Bonniers’s exhibition “Insomnia” (24 September 2016–22 January 2017), and was composed as the show’s closing event.

About Cabinet’s “24-Hour Book” series
Inspired by literary precedents such as automatic writing, by the resourcefulness of the bricoleur making do with what is at hand, and by the openness toward chance that all artistic production under severe constraint must necessarily incorporate, Cabinet’s “24-Hour Book” series invites distinguished authors and artists to be incarcerated in an unfamiliar space to complete a project from start to finish within twenty-four hours.

About Fabian Kastner
Fabian Kastner is a Swedish writer and literary critic based in Berlin. He is the author of the novels Oneirine (Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2006), which consists exclusively of unattributed quotes from one thousand works of world literature, and Lekmannen (Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2013), which took as its point of departure Daniel Paul Schreber’s Memoirs of My Nervous Illness. Kastner is also a regular contributor to the Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Cabinet wishes to thank the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of this project.