Lacuna is a public art space and library that is re-thinking the way we interact with physical books
by: Charlie Stephens
Later this year, The Bay Area Book Festival will be home to Lacuna, the world’s first ever library made-up entirely of books. With over 50,000 books composing its walls and a thatch roof constructed from actual pages, the art project is meant to encourage dialogue and serve as a “catalyst for education.”
All of Lacuna’s books have been donated by the Internet Archive, a company which has already transferred all of the books’ contents to a digital database. Those chosen to line the library’s walls have been hand selected by volunteers to convey unique stories and perspectives, and will re-emphasize the importance of the physical books themselves.
Lacuna is a temple to the physical weight of books, the space they occupy, and the power of knowledge that is contained with their covers… [it's] a space in which we literally, and figuratively, inhabit the interiority of books and their contents.Rather than deal with enormous catalogs and overwhelming rows of books, guests can browse the pop-up library and deconstruct its walls at their leisure. The removal of each book will change the way light and sound filters through the walls, so the installation is always evolving.
Each person’s input and interaction becomes an integral, valued part of the collective story and experience of Lacuna.The library will be formed by 12 individual alcoves, each of which will have 4 pillars created from stacked books. Wooden shelves will connect the pillars and form the basis of the library wall, so no structural damage will take place when books are taken off the shelves. Guidewires will anchor the pillars to the ground, and support a thatch-like roof made up from actual pages of books.