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This River in Toronto is Made of 10000 Glowing Books to Fight Pollution, Traffic

Oct 27, 2016 05:36 AM EDT
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A group of artists transformed a roadway into a river of glowing books to fight pollution, noise and traffic.

The interactive art installation is titled "Literature vs. Traffic" and was created by a group of anonymous artists called Luzinterruptus from Madrid, Spain. The project transformed the Hagerman Street in Toronto, Canada into a twisting river of 10,000 books donated by the Salvation Army. Pedestrians and visitors were encouraged to pick a book, read them and bring them home.

The installation was featured in the "And The Transformation Reveals" program of Toronto's Nuit Blanche 2016 art festival, an annual all-night celebration of contemporary art. The book river serves as a symbolic protest against the effects of urban traffic and the battle between pedestrians and automobiles. For one night, pedestrians will have a moment of silence in the streets, free of pollution, noise, and traffic, as the roadway, which was always occupied by cars, will be full of meaningful stories, poems and other types of literature.

"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," Luzinterruptus said on their website.

It took 12 days and 50 volunteers to install the piece, which was completed in time for the festival on Oct. 1. According to the group, the installation was self-dismantled in 10 hours, and the remains were collected by the street's maintenance service at dawn.

Luzinterruptus is known for their use of light as a raw material, carrying out urban interventions like "Literature vs. Traffic" in public spaces all over the world. The same piece had been installed in Madrid, New York and in Melbourne. The group often uses donated or waste materials for their projects and work with volunteers. Since 2008, Luzinterruptus has been creating different projects and has been commissioned by various art events and museums to create installations for specific spaces.

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