Personal Reading in Public Sites by Luzinterruptus



Here's another guerrilla lighting project in Madrid by Spanish designers Luzinterruptus, which involved creating "cosy" places to relax and read crime novels in undesirable parts of town.


The installation, called Personal Reading in Public Sites, consisted of reading lamps and crime novels distributed at 12 sites across the city.


"These places would not normally catch our eye, we would not like to stay there for a long time at night," say the designers.


It was carried out on the night of 5 January and lasted 5 hours.


Photos are by Gustavo Sanabria.


The following information is from Luzinterruptus:


This intervention used light from lamps and books and was carried out during a freezing night in Madrid on Monday 5th January 2009.

12 sites were chosen in different areas of Madrid such as Noviciado, Malasaña and Alonso Martínez. These places would not normally catch our eye, and we would not like to stay there for a long time at night. Our objective was to transform them into more comfortable, cosy places in which you could spend some time at leisure.


In order to achieve this, we installed some small and traditional lamps from which crime and detective novels hung by strings. It was enough to create an intimate atmosphere for relaxed reading at night.


Hidden places in scaffolding, a homeless sleeping-place, a box office of an old cinema which closed years ago, the emergency exit of a theatre under construction, the interior of a small concrete container, a bus stop on a commercial street at night, a condom machine after it has been looted, an entrance to a closed shop, a bus stop where buses have never stopped, an out-of-order photo booth, an unnecessary bollard in an empty street, the empty carton bed belonging to a tramp. These sites inspired us more than others.


The wonderful photos are by Gustavo Sanabria, who waited in the freezing cold while we promised him a coffee and a heated car for the next time.

Time of installation: 3 hours
Damages: none
Exhibition time: betwen 2 – 5 hours
Reading time: 5 hours
Electricity consumption: 0

More Dezeen stories about Luzinterruptus:



Luz Interruptus

Posted on Thursday January 15th 2009 at 3:32 pm by Rachael Sykes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Brett

    I don’t see much personal reading…

    Also, maybe the installation should have lasted longer than 5 hours?

  • Curious of the choice of blue light. Firstly its cold and not inviting, and secondly here in London and other world cities blue lights are specifically used in dodgy areas as it makes it very hard to inject drugs (your veins don’t show up in blue light)… Therefore as a rule of thumb hanging round blue-lit areas is a bit of a no-no*

    Plus you are probably really pissing a lot of, erm, streetdwellers off!


    *In case you ever wondered why the tunnels around the London Imax are covered with a cunning blue-light-art-installation.

  • ioana

    wonder why you’ve chosen a freezing night…

  • Matty D

    Maybe some photos of people actually reading the books? Would probably be a little more compelling, as opposed to just books hanging from a piece of string… Kind of like pictures of chairs with no one sitting in them. Kind of overlooking the soul intention.

  • Mowgli

    those are some creepy places to read..

  • togon

    electricity consumption=0?? Are you using some sort of non-electric lamp? And how is a person supposed to read under blue light??

  • morgan geist


    Hello, Its Morgan Geist.

    Im curious about your system of categorising the little but acute information that is divulge.

    Time of installation: 3 hours
    Damages: none
    Exhibition time: betwen 2 – 5 hours
    Reading time: 5 hours
    Electricity consumption: 0

    Not much is expressed by these figures. If we look at the work of Hans Eijkelboom, we can see that the information he gives us with each image ( time, duration and location) expand on the project and create a moment of reflection for the viewer. I find systems of categorising, and meta information give design projects of this nature a new dimension that is always refreshing and insightful.

    Also, say it lasted 5hrs. Given that such activity is usually taken place say when the streets are empty (midnight lets say) by 5am the project and all its glory is taken away, giving no time for the public (the core of this exercise ) to engage themselves.

    Finally, the exclamations within the guerrilla “press release” makes me wonder about the intentions of what it actually is that you are engaging in. It smacks of sympathey, and no ting of street cred.


    Morgan G

  • Brian

    There is probably a reason there are no people in the photos!

  • nickthegreek

    this is brilliant

  • gaque

    morgan, these installations are not meant to engage the public at large. the public at large isnt out at night.

    but imagine, you went out to drink, a nice club, or just dinner at your friends’ place. the night gets late and you’re walking home and you stumble upon this? i think it would be rather pleasant!

    clearly there something behind nighttime illumination that fascinates these guys, and i also find it interesting.

    however…i do agree the “press release” format of these supposed guerilla installations are a bit commercialized. it takes away the mystique of street art…at least for those of us that are not in madrid to personally enjoy them : )

    the blue light isnt comfortable at all…

  • they chose everything not inviting to create the feeling of discomfort on purpose , i believe ..
    those are crime novels!!!
    all these atmospheres go well with the concept i don’t see why you people don’t get it .. i found it quite amusing
    thumps up