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John Baird

In Search of the Pale Blue Spin

an audio walk

00:00 / 00:56

In Search of the Pale Blue Spin is a 20-minute audio story and walk in collaboration with writer Jennifer Metsker. The downloadable audio leads visitors through the aisles and stacks of the Hatcher Library starting at its north entrance.


We took inspiration from the Jorge Luis Borges' story Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius in which a narrator becomes obsessed with the fictional world of Tlön after stumbling across an unusual encyclopedia entry. On Tlön, nouns, like books, do not exist. On Tlön, there is no time, so there is no history. Objects appear merely through hope.


On this audio tour you become Tlönian. 


You are looking for a book.

You saw it once,

and then it was gone.

But perhaps it is here,

somewhere in the hushed spaces

of the library

that you have called into being.

LISTEN TO THE FULL AUDIO TOURIn Search of the Pale Blue Spin
00:00 / 20:12


In Search of the Pale Blue Spin was designed for the University of Michigan's Hatcher Graduate Library and part of Bookmarks: Speculating the Futures of the Book and Library, an exhibition of site-specific installations in U-M libraries.


Additional Credits

Andrew Bishop: music direction, clarinet

Jacob Warren: bass

Jeremy Edwards: music engineer

Juliet Hinely: audio story/walk consulting

Photo: John Baird

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