October 25 2016

A River of 10,000 Books Flows Through the Streets of Downtown Toronto

For the Nuit Blanche Toronto festival, held on October 1, Spanish designers Luzinterruptus brought back one of their most popular installations, Literature vs. Traffic. Previously carried out in Madrid, New York and in Melbourne, this installation consisted of 10,000 books donated by the Salvation Army. 50 volunteers worked for 12 days to create a huge river flowing through the downtown streets of Toronto.

The message? “We want literature to take over the streets and conquer public spaces, freely offering those passersby a traffic-free place which, for some hours, will succumb to the humble power of the written word. Thus, a city area which is typically reserved for speed, pollution and noise, will become, for one night, a place for quietness, calm and coexistance illuminated by the vague, soft light coming out of the lighted pages. The books will be there for those who want to take them so the installation will recycle itself and will last as long as users want it there. Cars will eventually fill their space but for many of those who walked by this place that night, the memory of those books that took that same space will improve their relationship with these surroundings”.

During that night, visitors could literally feel immersed in a flow of words as they dove down and found their treasures, enjoying brief reading moments which eventually would lead them to taking small pieces of the installation home.

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