Library of Dust depicts individual copper canisters, each containing the cremated remains of patient from a state-run psychiatric hospital. The patients died at the hospital between 1883 (the year the facility opened, when it was called the Oregon State Insane Asylum) and the 1970’s; their bodies have remained unclaimed by their families.
The prisoner’s use of the term “library” is apt. The room housing these canisters is an attempt for order, categorization, and rationality to be imposed upon randomness, chaos, and the irrational.
Okay, yes, a slightly morbid way to start the week. I’ll try to make it up to you.