Biblioland is an exhibition of ancient boks and prints in the metaverse.
This first creation of the Gozzini Antiquarian Bookshop in Florence is aimed at spreading the culture of ancient and rare books, which it has been promoting since 1850, today in a contemporaneity without boundaries of space, generations or ideas.
The Biblioland environment can be visited as guests or by registering.
Biblioland can be accessed via the web, the recommended browser is chrome; via smartphone by downloading the dedicated Spatial app available for Android and IOS or using virtual reality interactive systems such as Oculus.
Biblioland is an environment that allows direct interaction with other visitors by activating the microphone (for conversations) and the camera for any videos.
At the bottom left there are the two buttons that turn the microphone and camera on and off.
It is also possible to create your own Avatar, personalizing it with photography
At the bottom right are the commands for these functions.
In this room we have exhibited 29 works, two of which can also be purchased in NFT, but also available in the original.
By clicking on the label at the bottom right of each work, you can make the purchase on the Gozzini bookshop website.
A contact with the increasingly topical book
Today we happen to witness a farenheit 451 that certainly Bradbury would not have imagined, that of the internet and smartphones, which replace entire libraries with hard drives, servers, e-books. And it is precisely in this change that our initiative comes to life: Biblioland, the exhibition of ancient books in the metaverse where it is possible to buy paper books, original prints or NFTs. A place where collectors and readers can meet to share their passions and knowledge. An exhibition of 31 specimens chosen for their diversity and value that outline a panorama that extends from incunabula to precious and rare editions of 20th century literature.
The work of an antiquarian bookseller
Francesco and Edoardo Chellini have been antiquarian booksellers in Florence for 6 generations; over time they have declined numerous offers to transform their historic library into something different, because they care about their work which is also a mission to defend book culture.
Much of the work we do really helps people understand the importance of staying connected to books and acknowledging their own experiences through reading. A transitive property, that of the book that puts us back in touch with our most human part, which manifests itself through the generations and is the basis of culture. It is necessary to constantly cultivate one’s experience and read a lot in order to be able to recommend books that represent life experiences to people who come from different backgrounds. People who can meet in Biblioland coming from all over the world.
The greatest satisfaction is that of having transmitted that spark which not only serves to conserve, preserve, maintain, something like the book in the context of contemporary culture, but to add an experience which has its roots in the development of the imagination.
Why read and keep books
We have never thought of being only booksellers who conserve, safeguard and protect, but also people who disseminate, transmit and bring back to life like archaeologists, fragments of a recent past that sometimes contains topics so contemporary as to make us reflect on how things repeat themselves along the story arc.
A stratification of experiences, of notions, of culture that overlaps in thin layers like the pages of books, finds in its evolutionary nature a recursive pattern that belongs to humanity.
Biblioland is therefore a first step towards something new, it opens up a conversation with visitors to the exhibition in a simple way and is simply aimed at those unfamiliar with the culture of books, offering the possibility of entering a real world virtually and vice versa in a real world. virtual world.
A spatiotemporal bridge between past and future that can be traveled in both directions, challenging the unidirectionality of time and which perhaps, with its message of culture, also challenges that repetition of events that occurs in human history.
Biblioland, can be visited with a smartphone, tablet or systems such as Oculus Rift as well as the environment of the antiquarian bookshop. A dialogue with the new generations that teaches the preciousness and value of a paper work in an electronic future. A way of spreading the culture of the book in a current context that will increasingly characterize our way of life.
Unique books like NFT
The two kilometers of linear books that are in our library bear witness to human events in their smallest nuances… through advertisements, newspaper announcements, photographs, prints, special editions. Each book has two lives: the story it tells and the story of the sample: a story that secretly reveals itself in the signs of the pages, in the spots, in the dedications and in the stamps. Clues such as bookplates, signatures, objects that are sometimes forgotten by those who have left a page marker, kept a leaf or hidden a letter. There are ordinary books and ancient books which are unique specimens. An idea of uniqueness that already contains in itself a concept analogous (or analogical) to that of the NFT.
Biblioland, the bookshop serves the community it belongs to.
In recent years, many bookstores have closed, ceasing to serve their communities. Despite this I have heard many stories about the ways in which bookstores have met the needs of the community during the pandemic and the internet has happened to play a decisive role in continuing to spread books.
Libraries can adapt and change with the times
Historically, the bookseller has always been the first to interpret change and new techniques for disseminating culture, to find resources, anticipate the future and use different languages to speak across generations, to different communities, regardless of borders, ethnicities and cultures .
The dialogue we want to promote with Biblioland contains these values.
A message to those who do our job
We recommend that antiquarian booksellers work closely with communities to continually source new resources, take a strengths-based approach to creating outreach programs rather than focusing on a pattern of deficits that manifests itself in crises, weaknesses, and needs.
As communities across the country are more diverse than ever and are becoming more diverse, it’s really important that booksellers put the time and effort into building new relationships in new environments. This will ensure that antiquarian and non-antiquarian bookshops continue to participate in the future of their communities.
We are already working on a research project to create a participatory environment where other booksellers, like us, can come into contact with the new generations and experience the sharing of resources in promoting the ideals that unite us.
Filippo Crocetti, Edoardo Chellini and Daniele Di Stefano