When he was seven years old, Nobu Adilman re-shelved our parents’ sizeable collection of books according to the Dewey Decimal system. While precocious, it was also inconvenient, as Margaret Atwood could then be found in the basement, and on the second floor of the house, according to subject matter. Not to mention, Nobu had burnt out the label maker.
The following year, Nobu purchased a second-hand vacuum pack machine with his allowance, and sealed every one of his father’s many homemade jams, painstakingly acquired at women’s auxiliary sales.
Nobu then did the same to all of his mother’s shoes. This was the last straw. After a considerable cool down period, our parents struggled to imagine a way to channel Nobu’s obvious penchant for archivism without turning their own house into a latex encased museum/library.
At the suggestion of a retired taxidermist, and close friend, our parents discovered the Toronto Youth Preservation Society, a non-profit dedicated to the annal-obsessed.
All at once, Nobu, at age nine, had found his people, and his place in life: dusty shelves full of mainly useless items, meticulously organized (and reorganized daily). It was an organization devoted to chronicling and cataloguing the entirety of humanity.
And thus was born Nobu’s lifelong commitment to archivism.
-written by Mio Adilman (brother)
What ‘hood are you in?
Right now, I’m living close to High Park. It’s peaceful and safe and quiet; like what I imagine it would feel like to be in the witness protection program, for the first couple months at least.
What do you do?
I get up in the morning, make coffee, stretch, and then get to re-arranging the furniture. This is my life work. In my spare time, I recently got to dust off and feature my favourite Canadian television programs from the CBC archives for a show called “Late Night In The Studio.”
What are you currently working on?
How do I get my lavish peacock lamp (it’s really something) to mesh with my hamburger print couch. It’s challenging.
Where can we find your work?
One day I’ll publish a book on the many different arrangements of my furniture. It tells an emotional story that i would love to share.
*Late Night in the Studio is a satirical and historically inaccurate look through the CBC Archives, highlighting some CanCon content that you’ll wish was real. The show is led by the diligent and idiosyncratic Nobu Adilman, who serves as CBC’s Head Archivist, sharing on-screen gems like the soap opera My Regina and the hidden life of a major Canadian coffee chain’s doughnut holes.