the lower case reading room
The Regional Assembly of Text is a stationery story in Vancouver with a one-person at a time zine library and reading room in the back.
We have an article about it by Grey Hernandez for the next issue of On Site: small things. In his proposal he said: The 'smallness' is not just the space itself, is also the relationship between zine culture and the emphasis on the individual. Making zines, reading them, distributing them, blogging about them and now housing them are all done at the scale of the single person.
the lower case reading room is run by Brandy Fedoruk and Rebecca Dolen, Emily Car graduates who used the 3 square metre space previously as an art gallery. If one considers reading, looking at art, being human as an individual act, then small spaces are completely logical. If one considers reading as a group activity (can't image who does this), looking at art as a social event, being human as a collectivity, then yes, we would need large spaces for everything, which is what we have.
Perhaps we have a surfeit of space that forces everyone into group activities. Spaces too small to contain 60 diners used to be considered too small to make a viable restaurant: was that based on some sort of profit margin worked out in an economist's office somewhere? Where one finds such small venues, such cabines, is increasingly in the marginal spaces of gentrifying areas where preciousness is a commodity. It doesn't last for long, this attachment to small things, this relationship between having little money but large ideas, this desire to colonise the uninhabitable with something interesting.
Quality of life is not dependent on money, it is dependent on being creative.