Retired Books That Got A Second Life In Stunning Display

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Spanish art collective, Luzinterruptus illuminated the streets of Melbourne with 10,000 retired books. LED lights were placed in side the books, which were opened and laid in Federation Square along sidewalks and stairs. The 2012 Light In Winter Festival was a fate far brighter than the one the books would have faced otherwise. When a book retires, it is taken off the shelf and brought to a big warehouse in the country to be pulped—which is exactly what it sounds like. Spanish art-collective, Luzinterruptus saved these books from a grizzly end by literally shedding light on their pages and on their destinies.

Using light as medium and darkness as canvas, Luzinterruptus creates installations to call attention to issues and things they believe need it. For this display they brought books right to the feet of Melbourne’s citizens in Federation Square to glimpse the stories people surely would have missed had they not visited their public library. The installation was named Literature Versus Traffic. The name is appropriate, as it seems the goal was to stop people in their tracks, and in their thoughts—like an expansion of stopping to smell the roses, except now, we’re stopping to think about them too. Though books are inanimate in physical nature, the LED lights beneath their pages look ghostly enough to appear not only animate, but soulful as well. On the last day of the display, viewers were invited to take home any books they wanted.

Here are some great shots caught before the books disappeared:

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