Thursday, 23 August 2012

Floating Island and the Book Maze ...



No, they are not one and the same ... Talli Roland titled her post “Book Bliss” a couple of weeks ago ... and Annalisa Crawford, when commenting on my previous post, mentioned the Floating Island ... and they are both part of the Cultural Olympiad and ...

Floating Island off Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic

... came up in my search of the Festival London 2012 site, so I thought another post was due giving a little more explanation – and open your little grey cells to creatively what can be done.


Let’s ‘do’ the books first and Talli has very kindly let me use a couple of her photos ...


aMAZEme: is the giant installation of books that Talli saw and photographed when she went for a celebratory dinner at the Skylon the other day ....  this labyrinth of books was set up in The Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall.
The labyrinth of books from above

I could give you a ‘guess how many’ game ... but I’d like to finish the post today ... so to enlighten us all there are more than 250,000 books in this creation, covering 500 square metres, with sections standing 2.5 metres high (that’s 8 foot 2 inches 27/64ths tall!).


Talli's side on photo ... 
The Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo were inspired to ‘build’ the maze by writer Jorge Luis Borges – which apparently forms the shape of Borges’ unique fingerprint (I hope someone will enlighten me ....!)


All the new books were donated by publishing houses, and the second-hand books have been loaned from Oxfam; when the maze is deconstructed at the end of the exhibition (Sunday 26th Aug), all of the books will be donated to Oxfam.

A corridor ... photo by Talli

Literary quotes were projected directly onto the labyrinth walls, with accompanying audio about the world of literature.


I had probably heard of Borges, but knowing nothing about him, I looked him up in Wikipedia – and found he’s an Argentinian author with a very interesting history ... I feel as many of you are literary whizz-kids – you will have heard of him and I’ll only direct you to Wikipedia to find out more.


The aMAZE .... 
But I did think this sentence was appropriate to the Book Labyrinth exhibition .... “A combination of book and maze, it can be read in many ways” – via Wiki and the Later Career entry on Jorge Luis Borges.


Then we have the artistic creation of the “Nowhereisland” .. which Annalisa Crawford mentioned in her comment on my last post ... so I had to investigate further ... but I’d spotted an Eden Project article that is pretty self-explanatory ...

Floating Island in St Ives Bay,
Cornwall - can you see Godrevy in
the background - where one of
the Peace Camps was held
The ‘floating island sculpture’ as its creators describe it, is actually a real piece of land being pulled by a tugboat on a tour from the Arctic as part of an initiative known as “Nowhereisland”.


It is making its way around the Southwest in the hope of stimulating debate around ideas like citizenship, nationhood and climate change, under the banner of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Eden Project, Cornwall

I think at this point ... I direct you to the Eden article if you wish to know more ... Tim Smit, the CEO of the Eden Project, has contributed his ideas ... see the links.


There is also a film about the Embassy’s visit to Cornwall’s Mevagissey ... on the Eden Project site ...

So we have a tugboat towing a floating island around the shores of Britain from the Nyskjaeret-Svalbard, an archipelago in the Norwegian Arctic, and this fingerprint maze of books made by two Brazilians influenced by an Argentinian author ...


The tug towing the island on its
way to Bristol .. 

The floating island actually is a piece of land that emerged from a retreating glacier ... and Alex Hartley, the artist, 'found the island' adopted it ... and the rest is becoming history ... check out the Eden site ... 




This blog may be eclectic ... but these two creative artworks for the Cultural Olympiad (to me) take the biscuit ...

All links below to elucidate you and me as and when necessary ... enjoy ...



Talli Roland's: Book Bliss post 

 aMAZEme: A Labyrinth of Books 

Annalisa Crawford's blog - she's had a birthday and may be hibernating seeing as it's our Bank Holiday weekend ... ?!

Nowhereisland ... is a Situations project part of the London 2012 Festival led by artist Alex Hartley - as one of the lead artists in 'Taking the Lead' ... part of the Cultural Olympiad promotion.

Eden Project - New Island Nation artwork visited Eden last weekend 

Update on Peace Camps ...  go here to see a video of the Cuckmere Haven, Sussex Peace Camp ...   see my post ...  

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

30 comments:

Kittie Howard said...

I really enjoyed your interesting info and how you tied it all together. Years ago, a short story called "Man without a Country" was taught in American schools about an American banished to sea (for treason) and who could never set foot on American soil again. The floating island reminded me of this story - different era, different purpose, but the same concept.

D.G. Hudson said...

Very interesting post, Hilary. I especially liked the maze of books.

Will check out the links later today. I recognize Talli and Annalisa's names.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Hilary. Those links are great. It's amazing what people can do with the smallest idea.

Unfortunately I don't get to hibernate this weekend - I'm working, including on Monday.

L.G.Smith said...

Didn't know you could just go hook up a random cast-off island and start tugging it around. What a concept. And I love the book maze. Saw pictures of it in the news during the Olympics and was a-mazed. Ha! :)

Patsy said...

That book maze really is amazing - appropriate too as who doesn't like to get lost in a good book?

Old Kitty said...

I hope someone enlightens you and us all about Borges' unique fingerprint that inspired such a maze!!! Wonderful! Take care
x

Sherry Ellis said...

That labyrinth of books is aMAZing!

Betsy Brock said...

Oh I love that blue water! But the maze of books just takes the cake! Wow!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Fascinating stuff, Hilary. One does wonder what these people do in their spare time. Oh, as to Kittie's comment, it was Benedict Arnold. I remember that story. I was a child and having heard of him, didn't sleep all night because I thought the Americans would come and ship me off for not passing my geography test.

Slamdunk said...

Wow Hilary, I had not seen the story about the book maze. Neat idea and certainly a colorful artistic expression.

Thanks for all the stuff to look at as well.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kittie .. you'll see below Joylene answered your query .. and I've popped over to your blog to let you know and to subscribe .. see you around a bit more ..

@ DG - just so much going on here .. and I'd have loved to see the Maze, and in fact the floating island - but it's going the wrong way ... Enjoy the links ...

@ Annalisa - pleasure re the shout out .. just sorry you'll be working over the Bank Holiday - it happens to us all at times. Glad about the links .. should be interesting referral points ..

@ LG - I never saw news coverage of the island .. it probably hit the local south-west news ..but not here in the SE.

The Eden Project article has some detail on the hows and why the artist 'found' the island and was able to tow it etc .. and set up this new land ...

@ Patsy - I thought that .. being towed around on an island with a maze of books .. the journey could last a few years!! Preferably into warmer climes ...

@ Old Kitty - I hope we get enlightened re Borges' unique fingerprint .. it's a twisted S by the look of it ..

@ Sherry - all those books piled up must have taken some work and the laws of gravity ... to keep them up

@ Betsy - now a row of cupcakes on top of the maze wall would be such fun and so delicious .. oh and blue water - the sea has some amazing colours ...

@ Joylene - brilliant you were able to answer Kitty's question ...

well now I've looked .. I'm not sure Benedict Arnold is the right person ... see Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benedict_Arnold

and see Wiki "The Man without a country" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Without_a_Country is a short story by Edward Everett Hale ..

Looks like Hale's story is probably the one Kittie remembers ... I hated those little permanent thoughts (for a while) we had as kids ... - glad you didn't sail away in a boat ...

@ Slamdunk - it's fascinating what unique ideas people come up with .. and it inspired quite a few ... hope you enjoy the links ..

Cheers everyone - it'll be great fun remembering the floating island and the book maze in years to come .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hiya .. perhaps this is Borges' unique fingerprint .. and there are some fantastic photos of the bookmaze here: http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/amazeme-labryinth-books

They comment that Borges once said "I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library" ..

TrendHunter (Art and Design) has some other artistic installations that may be of interest to some of you .. http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/amazeme-installation - it doesn't answer the question re Borges' fingerprint though!

Maybe it is just that - a fingerprint ... here there's a time lapse video showing it being built by the two artists and 50 volunteers working for 5 days and through the night:

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2012/08/a-giant-labyrinth-constructed-from-250000-books/

More views to look at .. cheers Hilary

juliet said...

What creative, audacious projects. I love them. Thanks for bringing more unusual events to my attention Hilary. I'm feeling connected in to Britain and Europe in many new ways since I discovered your blog.

Ann Best said...

An amazing maze! And the island -- how fascinating. Will have to mark this to come back to the wonderful links. Isn't our earth an incredible place?!
Much love from me and Jen!!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

So it's floating and drifting with a little help?

And that is a lot of books.

Madeleine Maddocks said...

OMGosh! That book maze is awesome!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Juliet - delighted you enjoy your visits to the eclectic space .. and really appreciate your thoughts - many thanks ..

@ Ann - I'm sure you'll enjoy the links .. and if you know Borges' fingerprint - by chance! - that would be so interesting to know .. well our earthly island at the moment is deluged in soggy rain! Which will produce amazing results for us .. and creative ideas as we wait for the sun to reappear ...

@ Diane - lovely to see you - yes, I'm afraid with a little help .. but it has come down from the Arctic circle - it's allowed a gentle pull ..

... and as you say - that is a lot of books .. that will be out there in the Oxfam shops ...

Thanks Juliet, Ann and Diane - great seeing you .. cheers Hilary

Much love and big hugs back ..

Talli Roland said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Hilary, and for using my photos! That book maze was wonderful. Sigh! I would have bedded down for the night there if I could.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
Firstly, I want to thank you kindly for taking the time to backtrack and comment on a number of my previous posts. That was very kind and thoughtful of you :)
Delighted to note how you have made mention of Talli Roland and Annalisa Crawford, who I shall forward on belated birthday wishes.
Your "eclectic" blog is one of the attributes of your site I admire, Hilary. All fascinating and the labyrinth of books would take some time to read! I think I shall stick with attempting to count them...
Have a peaceful weekend and happy writing.
In kindness, Gary

Tina said...

Holy Schikes, Batman! I suppose that's an American expression which I have absolutely no hope of translating into the Queen's English...but holy shit comes close...so I hope that doesn't offend.
I follow Talli and Annalisa, but in all the chaos around here missed their posts.
I LOVE the moveable country-ness of that island thing. In a weird way, it reminded me of the movie "The Terminal" or whatever that movie is called where Tom Hanks is countryless and stuck at Heathrow...
Book maze? We have corn field mazes around here which do wonderful things for my respiratory system...book maze sounds right up my alley. Though I'd be awfully tempted to snag a couple of titles that caught my eye...probably bring the whole thing down like those domino things...
Awesome post, Hilary.
Tina @ Life is Good

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Talli - thank you for letting me use your photos .. and you looked like the burgeoning mother you're becoming .. wooden floor and pillow of books would be a tad uncomfortable in your circumstances! Amazing to have seen the maze though ...

@ Gary - I hope I'll sort the embedded comment box challenge out shortly .. in the meantime it's the library - and I've been getting down a few days a week. I enjoyed your posts .. and the Cardigan stories .. mental health is so important ... I wish you and your friends all the best for their project.

Thanks Gary .. as you know I just do my thing and am delighted friends appreciate the posts. Happy counting .. it'll be 'all fall down' tomorrow ... actually putting it up - the process looked like that! You too - hope we don't get drowned out with buckets of that wet stuff ... pounding it down here now ..

@ Tina - oh yes .. not a film I've seen ... except Tom Hanks wandering around the airport. I'm not sure where the island goes now .. but the cause has quite a big following ...

We have corn mazes too - but the book maze looks extraordinary .. though perhaps paper mites might exasperate your asthma?! If you see the chaos in which it was put up ... I'm not sure there'll be much difference in taking it down .. though packing the boxes won't be so neat I suspect ..

Thanks Talli, Gary and Tina .. lovely seeing you here - enjoy your weekends .. cheers Hilary

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

That book maze is aMAZEing, bet there are some interesting books there.
Have a great weekend. Diane

J.L. Campbell said...

Hilary,
Thanks for posting this. It's been quite an education. I did see the maze on Talli's blog, but hadn't come across the island before.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane - it is staggering and the video showing how they built it is fascinating too ... and I'm sure Oxfam shops will have some fun books in their shops soon ...

I hope you're feeling better and having a cooler weekend at least ..

@ JL - delighted you enjoyed the post and info it contains .. I think many of us keep an eye out for Talli's post ... I just added the backstory bit to the Maze .. and then the island - which is an incredible story.

Cheers Diane and JL - enjoy what's left of the weekend ... Hilary

Helen Ginger said...

I would have loved to walk through the maze of books. And I so like that they will eventually be donated!

I think I heard something about the floating island. I'm glad you have more information about it.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Hilary! I like your eclectic blog. There is always something for everyone. : )

I remember Talli's blog about the maze of books. Truly amazing. That is cool that all the books will be donated.

Arlee Bird said...

I suppose building a book maze is one way to pass time. Keeps mischievous artists off the streets and out of trouble.


Lee
Wrote By Rote

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Helen - so would I loved to have actually seen .. but today's the day of break down - so it's too late. Glad you appreciated the update on the floating island.

@ Susanne - many thanks .. it was fun finding Talli was having dinner at the South Bank when the aMAZE maze was on .. and as you say good to know they'll be put to good use.

@ Lee - one way to look at it I suppose .. certainly there were 50 people helping in the set up!

Cheers Helen, Susanne and Lee - good to see you ... Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

That book maze is wonderful! I'd be so distracted looking at all the covers...
I forgot to tell you, I met an Olympian! The sister of one of my colleagues is on the bronze-medal winning Canadian women's soccer team, and she dropped by our office a couple of days ago! Those medals are *heavy*!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz .. I'd be falling over my feet too .. dreaming up titles as I looked at those covers ..

How wonderful that you met a Canadian football bronze medallist - what fun .. and you got to touch the medal .. then confirming that they are heavy. Isn't that great .. what a story ..

Thank you for telling me about your meet- up ... great news .. cheers Hilary