Paper Chase 

"Does the apparent triumph of electronic over print media mean that the daily newspaper will soon no longer exist as a physical object?"

Thus begins a call for submissions for an art show called "Disappearing Ink," to be held at the Art Museum of the University of Memphis (AMUM) in the spring. The show's curator, John Salvest, is looking for folks to share their treasured newspaper clippings in any format they wish — from a single clipping to scrapbook pages to entire bulletin boards.

Submissions are currently being collected at AMUM and will be collected on Wednesday at the Booksellers at Laurelwood and later in the month at Burke's Book Store.  

"There's been a significant shift in how we transmit and save information," says Salvest, an artist and professor at Arkansas State University. "Everything's changing so quickly. This is an attempt to pause for a moment and initiate conversation."

click to enlarge A submission for “Disappearing Ink”
  • A submission for “Disappearing Ink”

Salvest wonders, as print newspapers disappear, what will replace them as "concrete" evidence of events. But he's also an obsessive collector. It was his stack of newspapers — 25 years' worth — that gave him the idea for "Disappearing Ink." Salvest plans on repurposing that stack for an installation piece that will be part of the AMUM show.

Submissions have already started coming in, and Salvest says he has an idea of how he may curate them, though he is intrigued to see what might be gathered and how someone who's in their 20s collects differently from someone in their 80s.

All submissions, by the way, will be put into an online archive. Salvest appreciates the irony.

"It's nodding to the past while accepting the future," he says. "Hopefully, everything will ultimately come into balance."

Submissions for "Disappearing Ink" will be collected at the Booksellers at Laurelwood, Wednesday, January 15th, from 3 to 7 p.m., and at Burke's Book Store, Thursday, January 30th, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Submissions are also being accepted at the Art Museum of the University of Memphis. For more information, go to memphis.edu/amum.

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