Luzinterruptus Transform Federation Square Using 10,000 Glowing Books

As part of this year’s edition of The Light in Winter festival held in Melbourne, anonymous Spanish light art collective Luzinterruptus were invited to recreate their spectacular public art installation Literature vs Traffic in Melbourne’s Federation Square.

A free, month-long program of light sculptures, talks, events, workshops, performances and the much-loved Solstice Celebration, the 2012 edition of The Light in Winter festival was inspired by the National Year of Reading and celebrated the enlightenment that reading sheds on our live.


Utilising 10,000 illuminated re-claimed books donated by the Salvation Army, Luzinterruptus temporarily took charge of Melbourne’s Federation Square in June with their ambitious project that uses light as the raw material and dark as the canvas.

According to Luzinterruptus, the objective of this piece is to create “a river of books overflowing into the physical pedestrian spaces and installed itself in the space allocated to cars, stealing precious space to the dense traffic in the area, in a symbolic gesture in which literature took control of the streets and became the conquerer of the public space, offering the citizens, a space (not as big as we would have liked) in which the traffic withdrew yielding ground to the modest power of the written word.”

Gradually undergoing a transformation over a period of one month, a lane of the busy Flinders Street became a space for reading and coexistence, lit by a dim light that paled under the powerful LED displays installed in the plaza.

On the final night of the festival, the public was invited to take home any copies they wanted. Also offered the opportunity to take home one of the books were the occupants of the cars that were circulating in the vicinity, who, stupefied, opened their windows to receive these mysterious presents.

Luzinterruptus is an anonymous artistic group who carry out urban interventions in public spaces. The two-member team created their first light intervention in Madrid at the end of 2008 with the simple idea of using light to focus people´s attention on problems that they found in the city and that seem to go unnoticed to the authorities and citizens.

Click the slideshow to see images of the Literature vs Traffic installation in Melbourne