What is Lacuna?

Lacuna is a public space built out of books that provides free books to communities.  

 

Lacuna is a Library

Libraries connect us—to each other, and to ourselves. They nurture our communities with knowledge and ideas, and they provide spaces for discussion and reflection. They open us to worlds unknown, and they reflect our worlds back to us. Libraries are monuments to the pursuit of knowledge, and to the universal right to seek, nurture, and possess knowledge. 

Lacuna is a library whose very walls are constructed with books. Like a library, access is entirely free, and visitors will be able to peruse shelves and remove books that capture their imagination. As books are removed from Lacuna, the structure will morph—gaps in the book brickwork will cause changes in the way light and sound filter through Lacuna's walls, creating an ever-changing play of color, shape, and sound that will evolve over time. Benches in and around Lacuna's will provide places for reading, discussion, and contemplation of the ideas contained within Lacuna's walls. 

Photo Credit: Leon Saperstein

Photo Credit: Leon Saperstein

 
The process of taking out a book shifts and re-shapes the very structure in which those books are contained.
 

Lacuna is a Monument

Lacuna is a monument to books, built out of 50,000 books. Each of the alcoves of Lacuna are formed by pillars created out of stacked books. Connecting these pillars are shelves filled with books. Above, book covers appear to seamlessly float and flutter, creating a space which reenacts the magic of books and their contents. 

Lacuna's books come the Internet Archive, an organization whose mission is to preserve the world's cultural artifacts by creating a digital library. Though the content of Lacuna's books is now part of the digital record,  it's the books themselves—the smell of their ink, the weight of their paper, the texture of their covers—that Lacuna celebrates in its walls. Lacuna is a monument to the physical weight of books, the space they occupy, and the power of knowledge that is contained with their covers. 

Photo Credit: Michael Hitchner

Photo Credit: Michael Hitchner

 
Lacuna is a space in which we literally, and figuratively, inhabit the interiority of books and their contents. 
 

Lacuna is a Story

The books that line Lacuna's walls are hand-selected by a group of volunteer curators, each with a unique story and perspective. When visitors step inside Lacuna, browse these books, and take with them what captures their imagination—connecting with the curators who lovingly placed them there. By removing, reorganizing, and replacing books, the walls inside Lacuna will shift, and its this process where we'll see that every person's interaction with Lacuna becomes an integral, valued part of the collective story and experience of Lacuna. Each participant will see that the actions and choices of a multi-faceted and robust artistic community have produced a creation significantly different from any one person’s work. Like a library, this structure creates a uniquely collaborative, civic space where we can collectively appreciate the important and varied contributions of our community, which is everyday enriched by our collective literary landscape. 

Video Credit: Kim Aronson

Video Credit: Vanessa Rojas

Want to bring Lacuna to your community? So do we! Learn more.