Inspired in part by the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, PULSE (Personal Universal Library System for Eternity) is a fictional solution to a very real problem: the preservation of our books and libraries—and the ideas contained within them—in the 21st century and beyond. With extreme heat, deadly storms, drought and sea levels on the rise, the world’s vast collections of books and libraries, some of which date back to antiquity, will soon be vulnerable as our economic, environmental, political, and social systems destabilize and potentially collapse. Unlike Google's book digitization project, the goal of which is to scan all the world's books, PULSE is subscriber-based: It allows members to access digital versions of their entire personal library from any Web-enabled device, such as computers, tablets and cellphones. For an additional fee, PULSE will store a member's physical library in a deep underground bunker that can withstand the detonation of a nuclear weapon on the Earth's surface.
PULSE services include:
- Digitization of books and other related ephemera (catalogs, brochures, pamphlets, etc.)
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR) conversion (to enable the ability to search PULSE via text search field
- Permanent storage of physical books in a climate-controlled underground bunker that can withstand a nuclear detonation on the surface of the Earth
- Emergency deployment of physical library into space (in case of loss of terrestrial environmental stability), including entire library digitally pressed into gold-plated digital phonographs
PULSE's ideal target client base are individuals who have a personal library of books, and also include families, organizations, businesses, as well as institutional libraries and local, state and federal governmental organizations. Essentially, a PULSE customer can be any person or entity wishing to digitize the books and other related ephemera in their library.
The exhibition Once upon a Time, There Was the End is open to the public at the Center for Books Arts, through June 28, 2014.
For detailed information about the PULSE project, including notes, sketches, drafts, final print ads and installation shots from the Center for Book Arts, visit http://momentechpulse.blogspot.com.