River is a work inspired by the library as an ever-changing and regenerating source of knowledge. For library users, River will be an interactive experience that transforms their search for knowledge into a part of the artwork, taking the library customers’ activities and transforming them into an illuminated river of text. In River, each library visitor’s effort will find its presence within the artwork itself.
The first component of River is a comprehensive list of resource titles and author names held by the library system. The resulting list will be displayed in a dynamic, flowing list, live-streamed in a large, vertical display. Every time a library customer borrows or downloads a resource, or searches the card catalog, that activity will trigger an incremental movement of the river of type. The busier the library is, the faster the river will flow. The typography representing the list will cascade down the library in a shape that mirrors the banks of the Kansas River that form the northern border of Johnson County. River will be in constant motion and will telegraph to the public the level of community engagement with the library.
Siting Rivers adjacent to the second floor terrace provides multiple points of view. The installation can also be a light-emitting beacon at night, making the library a community landmark, potentially visible from the surrounding roads.