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In search

of the

pale blue


by Jennifer Metsker & Stephanie Rowden


In Search of the Pale Blue Spin is a 20-minute audio story and walk that begins in the north entrance of the Hatcher Graduate LibraryYou can play the tour from this page. The audio leads the visitor through the library using elevators, opening doors and moving down accessible aisles in the stacks. Please use headphones as you listen on your mobile device and travel through the library.

About the story 



In Search of the Pale Blue Spin is inspired by Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, a story by Jorge Luis Borges in which a narrator becomes obsessed with the fictional world of Tlön after stumbling across an unusual encyclopedia entry. On Tlön, nouns, like books, do not exist. On Tlön, there is no time, so there is no history. Objects appear merely through hope.


On this audio walk, you become Tlönian. 


You are looking for a book.

You saw it once,

and then it was gone.

But perhaps it is here,

somewhere in the hushed spaces

of the library

that you have called into being.


About the Producers

Jennifer Metsker and Stephanie Rowden are on the faculty at the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan. Jennifer is a writer and poet. Stephanie is a sound artist and radio producer.  Their previous audio collaborations include Bird in the Breath and Other Hopeful Cargo for the BBC-Radio 4 radio program ShortCuts with Josie Long, and Too Many Miles, a Short Doc award winner for the Third Coast International Audio Festival. 

Additional Credits

Andrew Bishop: music direction, clarinet

Jacob Warren: bass

Jeremy Edwards: music engineer

Juliet Hinely: audio story/walk consulting

John Baird: photos

Send your comments about the walk to

In Search of the Pale Blue Spin is featured as part of Bookmarks: Speculating the Futures of the Book and Library, an exhibition of site-specific installations, performances, interventions, and events in U-M libraries.


© 2019 Stephanie Rowden & Jennifer Metsker. All rights reserved.

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