Fall 2009

Artist Project / Fallen Books

Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson

Our project “Fallen Books” is a collection of images of toppled books from libraries located in seismically active areas. The photographs are often taken by librarians and depict the aftermath of earthquakes. The images presented here, part of a larger book project, are identified by the library, the name of the given earthquake, the country, and the date, and are organized according to the relative intensity as measured by the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale. A descriptive and graphic alternative to the Richter Scale, the Mercalli system primarily quantifies the observed effects of earthquakes on humans and man-made objects on a scale of I through XII. Topographic maps of earthquake areas use the scale’s color code to indicate how far away from the epicenter the earthquake was felt and at what degree of intensity. Copies of Fallen Books are now in the collections of each of the featured libraries. This project is both an archive and a forecast.

University of California Santa Barbara Library; Santa Barbara / Goleta; USA; 13 August 1978.
Claremont Colleges Honnold / Mudd Library; Upland; USA; 28 February 1990.
University of California Riverside Library; Big Bear; USA; 28 June 1992.
Santa Monica Public Library; Northridge; USA; 17 January 1994.
Kobe University Library; Hanshin-Awaji; Japan; 17 January 1995.
San Bernardino Valley College Library; Landers; USA; 28 June 1992.
Private Library; Central Coast; Peru; 15 August 2007.
Anchorage Community College Library; Good Friday / Alaska; USA; 27 March 1964 (Good Friday).

Melissa Dubbin and Aaron S. Davidson are artists based in Brooklyn. Their latest project, Fallen Books, was designed by Francesca Grassi and published by onestar press. Their work can be seen at www.dubbin-davidson.com.

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