Non-users Anonymous

An ongoing, physical, real time social record of laptop user’s head space within the British Library.

Laptop users don’t contribute or engage with, but abuse and exploit the library’s resources. They descend daily in their hundreds, not to browse the collection or exhibitions, but to work on their laptops (and usually drink coffee). Although the laptop users are such a prolific presence within the British Library, they often work individually and in silence, and their purpose within the specific library context remains unknown to both the institution and the onlooker, as well as each other.

Non-users Anonymous is a collection of anonymous testimonies from non-users submitted in old Adobe manuals and archived online. Intricate handwritten stories juxtapose outdated technical jargon denoting volumes about the contributor’s state of mind.

In addition to this, a receipt machine spits out testimonies initially concealed in the books, at the click of a button, published there and then in the space. These insights into anonymous lives be taken away as a token of laptop user’s presence, in phone cases, wallets and as bookmarks for those who use the library. The BL can also archive the activity, head space, and presence of the prolific laptop user as an ongoing, physical, real time social record in the form of delicately preserved till roll. A transaction between the British Library and the laptop user.

Please click the button below for a brief summary/report of the methods and processes used throughout the project.

This project was worked on by myself, Harvey Shaw, Luke Spence, Alfie Evans, Izzy Fulford and Eddie Wilson.