Book Hive is an interactive sculpture created to celebrate the 400 year anniversary of Bristol Libraries, and it will ultimately feature 400 animatronic books. Large wooden structures awash with honey light will engulf visitors in an immersive and atmospheric environment, where life-like animated books, inhabiting the cells will physically engage visitors, reacting to their movements in the space. Book Hive is a three month project, where the public gets the opportunity to influence its development. Rusty Squid will observe the public’s behaviour, and with the assistance of the Book Hive Keepers (exhibition stewards), collect feedback, in order to transform the shape of the hive and the way that the books respond. This evolution will take place over two months, between December and February, with the full 400 books installed by 7th February 2014.
Book Hive is a vivid response to the impact digital culture has had on the work of public libraries and the human relationship with the physical book. The hive is a metaphor for the power of libraries. Digitalisation has made engagement and interaction with books an isolated pursuit, requiring only a remote connection. By contrast, libraries bring people in to a physical collective space, where you are no longer in control of the breadth of material you are exposed to, nor the people with whom you share the space. As in any swarm in nature, if you remove an individual, it is very simple and limited, but as part of the swarm, can become part of a much more complex and powerful organism. For Rusty Squid, libraries are a powerful metaphor for the swarms/hives in nature – Book Hive reflects and embodies this power.
Come discover, play and interact..