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Filament Mind

Filament Mind is a human information-driven installation designed to visualize the collective curiosities and questions of Teton County Library visitors through a dynamic and interactive spatial sculpture. It’s inspired by the concept that our civic spaces should be intelligent and responsive, communicating as much to us as we do to each other, enabling a form of intra-environmental social interaction between our thoughts and the material of our built environments.

Whenever any Wyoming public library visitor anywhere in the state performs a search of the library catalog from a computer, Filament Mind illuminates that search in a flash of color and light through glowing bundles of fiber optic cables. Each of the 1000 fiber optic cables hanging above (totaling over 5 miles of cable) corresponds to a call number in the Dewey Decimal System, which organizes the library’s collection into approximately 1000 categories of knowledge. These category titles are displayed in text on the lobby’s south and north walls at the termination points of the fiber optic cables.

Just as libraries throughout history have inscribed the names and words of great minds into stone, Teton County Library will visualize the thoughts of all its visitors through a living, visual archive of their questions. Filament Mind will literally be the mind of the library and, by extension, that of the community. Experiencing it, visitors will witness the transformation of individual questions and queries posed to the digital catalog, transmitted through synaptic firings of form, color, and light, into a display of emergent collective intelligence of unprecedented visual expression.

The installation aspires to illustrate how community is cultivated through the delicate weaving of our thoughts, desires, and questions exchanged and imparted on each other and our environments. And it’s the library that is at the very heart of this cultivation. Filament Mind is based on the notion that art, which is truly for the public, should manifest the ideas of the artist only as they are transformed by what’s in the hearts and minds of the community, as a reflection of the influence of place on our thoughts. There’s no greater manifestation of this influence than in the interests that we cultivate throughout life; the questions we draw from our world and express back to it through learning, exploring, and creating.


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