© 2023 Sue Jeong Ka
Readers Beyond Bars, 2021
Site-specific installation, second-hand and public library books, book cart, book wishlist, banned book list
If we could deliver American prison's banned books to currently incarcerated people, what kind of vehicle would we want to use? Have you ever seen the jail library cart that serves as a mobile library at the Rose M. Singer Center on Rikers and the Manhattan Detention Center in NYC's Chinatown? Readers Beyond Bars showcases the collaboration between artists, Sue Jeong Ka, who has collected American prison's banned and wishlist books, and Joel Stoehr, who created the cart with his student designers at The New School/Parsons School of Design. Through their work, you can explore two types of books: those American prisons have banned and those on incarcerated people's wishlists.
Note: During the COVID-19 lockdown, one of the NYPL Correctional Services' book carts is missing at the Manhattan Detention Center. We are searching for ways to regain or create the cart with our community.
Special thanks to NYC Books Through Bars, Inside Books Project Archive, the New York Public Library Correctional Services and the Seward Park Branch, Trisha Shah and Amy Wang (The New School/Parsons School of Design), and Andrew Fairweather.
The book cart is created by Joel Stoehr, Maria Rico, Mikhail Volf, Lisanne Rissik, Jasmine Wright, Mike Thai, Takako Taniguchi, Filip Forsberg , Ben Schuetz, Christian Neuner, Charles Andrews, Colin Fuda, Kennv Garnett, Zin Mon Thet in collaboration with the New York Public Library Correctional Services Division.