Thousands of books spanned from sidewalk to sidewalk in Ann Arbor’s Literature vs Traffic installation, creating a space for quiet reflection on the value of pedestrian-friendly public spaces and the absence of noise pollution. The intersection of Liberty and State, a major juncture in this college town, was closed down for a day and night to allow the work to be deployed and enjoyed.
Volunteers attached small lights to the books, which were gifted back out to the community when the project was wrapped up — visitors were encouraged to take books with them when they left, leaving the streets clean and empty by midnight.
Luzinterruptus is a Spanish design collective that is traveling the world, collecting volumes in each location for these city-specific installations. The proximity to Motor City was particularly apt in this case, too.
“We want literature to take over the streets and to become the conqueror of all public places, offering passersby a traffic-free area that will, for a few hours, surrender to the humble might of the written word,” explain the designers. “Thus, a place in the city usually dedicated to speed, pollution, and noise, shall turn, for one night, into a place of peace, quiet, and coexistence, lighted by the soft dim light issued from the book pages.”