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Impromptu Library Of the Day: A River of Luminous Books in Melbourne

Thousands of books flood Federation Square in "Literature vs. Traffic."

Image
Luzinterruptus

You'd be forgiven for thinking Melbourne experienced a particularly severe book rain storm. Earlier this summer an art group turned 10,000 books discarded by public libraries (tossed because they were considered "obsolete") into luminous light pieces and then arranged them in a massive display across the steps of Federation Square.

It's not the first time books have literally spilled out onto the street. A similar exhibit (albeit much smaller) ran in New York earlier this year.

As the creators explain:


The objective of this piece? The same as the first time that we carried it out, that a river of books overflowing into the physical pedestrian spaces and installed itself in the space allocated to cars, stealing precious space to the dense traffic in the area, in a symbolic gesture in which literature took control of the streets and became the conquerer of the public space, offering the citizens, a space (not as big as we would have liked) in which the traffic withdrew yielding ground to the modest power of the written word.

Over the course of the month-long exhibit, called "Literature vs. Traffic", people stopped to browse, read, even dance (there was a performance called "Walking Through Words"). At the exhibit's end, the creators handed the books to cars nearby. Below, beautiful pictures of the show.


All photos courtesy of Luzinterruptus

About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.