89.1 WEMU

Art & Soul: The Visual Arts - An Illuminated Book Installation To Light Up Downtown Ann Arbor

Oct 11, 2018

Amanda Krugliak and Omari Rush
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the visual arts.  89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry is joined by state and local arts leader Omari Rush and a special guest: Amanda Krugliak, arts curator and assistant director of Arts Programming at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities.  She talks about curating a unique, light-up, literary art exhibit in downtown Ann Arbor on October 23rd from 5 until 11pm.


Literature vs. Traffic: A Collaborative Art Installation

"Literature vs. Traffic" in Toronto
Credit Courtesy Photo / Luzinterruptus

The U-M Institute for the Humanities has invited Luzinterruptus, an anonymous art collective based in Spain, to work with university and community groups to create the illuminated book installation “Literature vs. Traffic.” The event is part of the institute’s 2018-19 theme “Humanities and Environments.”

For 8 days this fall, dozens of student and community volunteers will work together with the artists in the historic Ruthven Museums Building preparing 10,000 books with lights and batteries for a one-night-only public art installation. The books—most earmarked for recycling—are being donated by individuals, libraries, and local organizations.

The work will culminate on October 23, when traffic will be closed on Liberty Street between State and Maynard—the typically bustling intersection of university and city, arts and culture. For one night, lighted books will “pave” the street, while passersby will be free to walk among the installation at their own pace, choosing books to take home in order to preserve a small piece of this stimulating and interactive work.

“We want literature to take over the streets and conquer public spaces,” explained Luzinterruptus, “freely offering those passing by a traffic-free place that, for some hours, will succumb to the humble power of the written word.”

"Literature vs. Traffic" in Toronto
Credit Courtesy Photo / Luzinterruptus

Luzinterruptus is known for carrying out urban interventions in public spaces. It previously installed “Literature vs. Traffic” in Madrid, Toronto, Melbourne and New York.  Ann Arbor is the first Midwestern “college town” to host the installation. “It’s incredibly exciting to host the project here, bringing Ann Arbor into an international conversation with other rich cultural centers,” said Amanda Krugliak, curator for the Institute for the Humanities. "It reminds us we are a community that values knowledge, education, and the arts—remaining open to diverse perspectives and new information that enlightens us.”

Quick Facts

  • 10,000 books will be donated by numerous partner organizations, including Kiwanis and the PTO Thrift Shop. The majority earmarked for recycling will be given another life, extending community principles of repurposing and sustainability.

  • U-M students and community volunteers from all ages and walks of life will work over 8 days to install LED lights in books

  • Volunteers will work at the Ruthven Museum building and in public view at the Institute for the Humanities gallery

  • All leftover books will be gathered & re-donated responsibly.

The West Side Art Hop: Saturday, October 20th

Michigan's quirkiest Art Fair/Art Walk in Ann Arbor.  It's a twice-yearly art walk rooted in the local community.  High quality art and crafts are Michigan's quirkiest Art Fair/Art Walk in Ann Arbor.  It's a twice-yearly art walk rooted in the local community.  We present high quality art and crafts for sale to the public in a festive atmosphere, from small cards and gifts to spectacular statement pieces.  Walk around the delightful West Side, meet the artists and find your own unique artwork. for sale to the public in a festive atmosphere, from small cards and gifts to spectacular statement pieces.  Walk around the delightful West Side, meet the artists and find your own unique artwork.  

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu