A giant living sculpture known as Book Hive is bringing books to life and thrilling visitors to Bristol Central Library in a celebration of 400 years of public libraries in the city.
Bristol’s award-winning creative robotics collective Rusty Squid has created the installation with an award of £88,241 from Arts Council England’s National Lottery-funded Grants for the arts scheme.
Now a swarm of animated books in their hexagonal cells are gradually filling the beautiful Grade One listed entrance hall and responding to the movement of the library’s visitors, creating beautiful patterns.
The sculpture uses animatronic, movement-responsive books, encouraging visitors to interact and feedback. The behaviour of the hive will evolve over time, responding to the different ways in which visitors interact with it. By using digital technology to infuse books with new life, Book Hive is a direct response to the impact digitalisation has had on libraries and our relationship with physical books.