Anarchitectural Library (against the neoliberal erasure of Chicago’s common spaces)
Anarchitecture Library (against the neoliberal erasure of Chicago’s common spaces) was assembled by artist, theorist, and urban designer Adrian Blackwell in response to a commission from the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, ...and other such stories. Anarchitectural Library addressed the Chicago Cultural Center’s history as the city’s first public library, an institution conceived in part as a space to “civilize” an unruly population of immigrants, workers, socialists, and anarchists. Whereas the original library responded to the specific struggles of the late nineteenth century by pacifying political demands, Anarchitectural Library gave voice to contemporary organizations fighting to keep alive spaces that produce and maintain urban life and collectivity.
A selection of titles included in Anarchitecture Library and available through the Chicago Public Library can be viewed here.
Anarchitectural Library housed materials—including published and self-published books, zines, posters, artwork, newspapers, maps, brochures, and reports—submitted by Chicago-based activists, organizers, and researchers who were identified based on their work resisting “erasures” in terms of public housing destruction, school closures, loss of industry, environmental degradation, and mass incarceration. The final library included nearly 350 items organized according to a classification system that the public were invited to peruse freely. After the close of the edition, the library structure and contents were donated to the Sweet Water Foundation.
Contributing Organizations, Projects, and Individuals