Leave your mark...

Bennington Bookmarks is an artwork, located in the Crossett Library on the Bennington College campus, that encourages visitors to explore areas of the library they may have previously overlooked and to share their ideas about the books and films they love or loathe. These gently glowing beacons are found attached to books and DVD's, and contain messages left by members of the community.

The messages can be accessed at one of the three Bookmark Stations, located on each floor of the library. The touch-enabled screen provides access to the entirety of messages left over time--a dynamic, evolving portrait of students, faculty, staff and the greater Bennington community.

Messages are represented on screen as animated hexagons. The hexagon shape was inspired by "The Library of Babel," by Jorge Luis Borges. Borges's library (the universe) is composed of an infinite number of hexagonal galleries, which one can explore in search of a book or perhaps a "catalogue of catalogues." In the story, men have spent entire lifetimes looking for a book "which is the formula and perfect compendium of all of the rest" and the "crimson hexagon," which may contain the secrets of the universe (the library.) Our interface draws upon this metaphor and allows the user to search through the messages for ideas, reflections and, maybe even the secrets of the universe.

Nine different Bookmark forms were chosen to represent subjects taught at Bennington College: the Apollo Lunar Lander, Jocasta's Brooch, a drum, Ockham's razor, Martha Graham, a yeast cell, Duchamp's Fountain, Minerva's owl and objects from To Kill a Mockingbird. Detailed information about the forms can be found in the Bookmarks section of this website.

We invite you to Bennington College in Southern Vermont, to explore the library looking for Bookmarks, and to share your love of books and films by leaving a message of your own.