About this project
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For Chris, thinking about books immediately led him to his childhood, where he spent his days lost reading and imagining alternate worlds... worlds which today inform his hypnotic and fantastical illustrations.
And you can own have your own slice of Chris' incredible—we've introduced two new backer levels featuring Chris's illustration. Get them while they're hot!
What is Lacuna?
Lacuna is a monumental, participatory art installation constructed from 50,000 books. Like a library, people can step inside Lacuna, browse its shelves, and take home books. Unlike a library, the very walls of Lacuna are created from books, which means that when people remove a book from a shelf, the structure will change and morph as new gaps in the book brickwork are exposed. This is where the magic of Lacuna happens: Lacuna becomes a reflection of the community who interacts with it. It becomes a story told by the many individuals who step inside it and are swept away by the wonder of the written word.
Where did the idea for Lacuna come from?
In 2014 the Bay Area Book Festival received a donation of 50,000 books from the Internet Archive. The intent was for the books to be given away for free at the inaugural festival in June 2015. The festival team approached the FLUX Foundation, an Oakland-based arts collective that creates large-scale participatory art, to come up with an idea for achieving this goal. Inspired by the nomadic structures of Central Asia as well as formal civic buildings like Rome’s Pantheon, Lacuna’s design focuses attention on the historical importance books as a means of spreading knowledge and their more typical ascription as objects of knowledge. More than just facilitating the circulation of the books, the intent of the collaboration between the Bay Area Book Festival and Flux Foundation was to create a unique space that enriches our connection to the written word and to illuminate the power that books hold as vessels of our collective knowledge and as records of our cultural heritage. The installation creates an inviting and calming space, offering contrast to—and respite from—the busy energy of the festival. In this space, participants contribute to a cumulative visual experience, peruse the 50,000 books made available by the Internet Archive, engage each other in conversation, and reflect on inspiration from the festival.
Why does Lacuna matter?
In its heart of hearts, Lacuna is about rekindling that sense of wonder we all have experienced with books. We want people to be enthralled and captivated by Lacuna, and to feel excitement in the process of selecting a book and taking it home to keep.
The Bay Area Book Festival, where Lacuna will make its first debut, is expecting more than 100,000 people from all around the region to attend—people from all walks of life, each with a unique relationship to books and reading. We want each person who steps inside Lacuna to build a lasting memory that connects them back to that moment where they find a book inside Lacuna, remove it from the wall, and see how their action made an impact on the work at large.
We especially want kids to experience this. The Bay Area Book Festival has a ton of activities specifically for kids, and Lacuna's location in the festival is right by the children's zone. We want kids to see Lacuna and get excited... we want them to take books, to sit and read books, and to build a connection to books in their physical form. We think Lacuna is the way to do this...we hope you agree and will show your support for reading, libraries, and public art.
What will Lacuna look like?
Lacuna uses a tensegrity structure, simple materials, a strong color palette and playful interaction to create an immersive environment that evolves over the course of the festival. From a distance, Lacuna appears as a traditional circular building (~ 80' diameter), vertical walls divided into 12 alcoves rising towards a pitched roof joined at a central crown. Each alcove measures ~8.5'x16'x8', and contains ~3,500 books. Rising up from the top of each alcove are guy-wires that are lined with pages from books (creating a thatch-style roof), and the wires will meet a centerpiece with a height of ~20 feet. The disused fountain at the center of MLK Civic Center Park serves as a foundation and central feature of the installation and custom-built benches surround the structure, offering places for reading and reflection and delineating a plaza-like environment.
Where and When is Lacuna?
Lacuna will debut at the Bay Area Book Festival June 6-7, 2015. The festival takes place in downtown Berkeley, CA, and Lacuna will be in MLK Civic Center Park—right in the middle of the festival.
Who is behind Lacuna?
Lacuna is being commissioned by the Bay Area Book Festival, a brand new nonprofit festival for the San Francisco Bay Area. An annual event to launch June 2015, the Bay Area Book Festival will feature over 225 authors, including writers from 12 countries. A half-square mile of downtown Berkeley will be devoted to the festival, encompassing ten city blocks plus Civic Center Park, including a Children's Arena, Teen Stage, Cooking Stage, and over 100 literary exhibitors. The festival expects to attract more than 100,000 people. Learn more at baybookfest.org
The 50,000 books used in Lacuna were donated by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create a free, Internet library by scanning and archiving all of the world's cultural artifacts including books, movies, music, images, and websites. Learn more about the Internet Archive and its projects at archive.org. Borrow books here at OpenLibrary.org
The design and fabrication of Lacuna comes from the FLUX Foundation, a nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to engage people in designing and building large-scale public art as a catalyst for education, collaboration, and empowerment. FLUX has as a strong portfolio building large-scale art of this kind, including the Temple of FLUX (Burning Man, 2010), The Sidewalk's End (Coachella, 2013), and many others. You can learn more about FLUX's work at fluxfoundation.org
Why do you need support?
We have the 50,000 books, we have the design and blueprints, we have a team of volunteers ready to start building, and we have the warehouse space to build in—now we need to purchase materials (wood, rebar, resin, wires, hardware), machinery (drill press, drill bits), and pay for logistical costs of setting up and running Lacuna (permits, security, moving trucks).
We are a 100% volunteer effort and we need financial help to make Lacuna a reality.
We've got a bunch of rewards for supporters to stay connected to the project and to get a sense of what it's like deep inside the Internet Archive... the digital record of all of the world's cultural artifacts.
Check out our website to learn more: lacunaproject.com
video credit: Vanessa Rojas
Risks and challenges
Managing the tight timeline for the production of a large art installation is inherently challenging. Lacuna is scheduled to debut in June 2015, which means that we'll have an aggressive build schedule once we've raised enough money to begin work. The FLUX Foundation is an experienced group of big art builders and professionals with a broad network of seasoned volunteers, so we are confident that Lacuna will debut on time provided that we have the money to get started. Because we need Lacuna to be structurally sound and safe for the public, the design of Lacuna may shift as challenges in the build process come up. Although an inherent flexibility and a problem-solving approach towards the aesthetic and engineering challenges that arise during the making process are part of why and how Flux Foundation makes big art, BABF believes that any changes to Lacuna as described above will be minimal and will not take away from the spirit or intent of the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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