168:01 – Support

Photo credit: Frank Piccolo

What is 168:01?

During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad lost their entire library due to looters who set fire to the collection. More than 70,000 books were destroyed. Over thirteen years later, students at the college still have few remnants from which to study.

In 168:01, an installation of an austere white library, first at the Art Gallery of Windsor and now at the Esker Foundation, serves as both a monument to the staggering cultural losses endured throughout Iraq’s history as well as a platform for its potential rebirth. Comprised of a series of white shelves filled with blank tomes, the library doubles as a system of exchange connecting its physical and virtual visitors in Canada and beyond to the College of Fine Arts in Iraq. Aimed at restoring its lost archives, 168:01 positions viewers as potential donors whose contributions fund educational texts from a list compiled by faculty members. As the installation accrues donations, the white library replaces the blank tomes with books from the faculty wishlist, becoming saturated with knowledge. Select donors receive the blank tomes in return for their contribution. At the end of the exhibition, all donated books are to be shipped to the College of Fine Arts, beginning the process of rebuilding.

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Thank you to everyone who participated in 168:01!!!!

The exhibition at the Esker Foundation closed on August 28th, 2016, so we are no longer coordinating book donations from personal collections or the Amazon Wish List. 168:01 may travel to other venues in the future, so check back for new opportunities to contribute!


White Book Order Updates:

Books_Nadja Pelkey

photo credit: Nadja Pelkey

Please note: The estimated ship date for the white books is October 2016 and all orders will be shipped out from New York. We will start shipping all Kickstarter rewards involving a white book and direct orders as soon as the books are returned from the Esker Foundation in Canada.


Donate via Paypal

Every penny we receive will be used for 168:01 and the eventual restoration of the library at the College of Fine Arts in Baghdad. We are using the funds from Kickstarter and future donations for things like:

  • Purchasing books from library’s Wishlist
  • Shipping locally donated books to the Esker Foundation
  • Shipping all of the books to Baghdad after 168:01‘s exhibition period ends
  • Remodeling the interior of the College of Fine Arts’ library to make space for all the new books