An anonymous Spanish collective known as Luzinterruptus shut down one of the busiest streets in downtown Toronto by filling it with 10,000 glowing books for a “Literature vs. Traffic” art installation. The artists were invited by Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 to install the piece as a commentary on the clogged, traffic-ridden city streets.
“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,” the artists wrote on their website.
It took 50 volunteers 12 days to pack all 10,000 books in Toronto’s Hagerman Street. Each book contained a small light to give the literary river a magical, twinkling effect.
The books were generously donated by the Salvation Army and pedestrians were encouraged to take the ones they liked home so that the installation could recycle itself. It was completely dismantled in 10 hours with only a few stragglers left at dawn to be collected by city maintenance workers.