Literature Illuminates Toronto’s Hagerman Street

The ongoing battle between pedestrians and vehicles is present in most of the world’s largest cities. Often it becomes difficult to find real, workable solutions to this feud. In October, the Literature vs. Traffic installation shed some light on this problem in Toronto.

Luzinterruptus is an anonymous artistic group that carries out urban interventions in public spaces. Their popular Traffic vs. Literature installation, previously carried out in Madrid, New York, and Melbourne, was invited to take place in Toronto during Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016. The installation was included within the And The Transformation Reveals program, commissioned by Camille Hong Xin. Working with over fifty volunteers, over the course of 12 days, books successfully replaced cars on Hagerman Street on the night of October 1st.

Literature vs Traffic Literature vs Traffic Literature vs Traffic Literature vs Traffic

10,000 books were used on this occasion, donated by the Salvation Army, to create this beautiful installation. LED lights were placed behind the pages of each book, illuminating the printed words. For one night, this loud busy street was transformed into a place for quietness and calm, illuminated by the soft light peering out from the pages. Through their Literature vs. Traffic installations, Luzinterruptus wants “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.”

Literature vs Traffic Literature vs Traffic Literature vs Traffic Literature vs Traffic

Those visiting the installation were welcome to take the books home with them. This allowed the installation to recycle itself. With the rise of electronic reading, printed books are beginning to disappear. This installation successfully enlightens and celebrates paper books, while addressing pedestrian needs within cities. This dream-like river of glowing books will definitely leave a lasting impression on those who had the chance to attend.