Lights have fascinated us from the beginning. The stars. Fire. Modern festivals of light celebrated every year in autumn.
It can only exist in darkness. Light art. Ever since we discovered fire, and have been using it to not only keep ourselves warm but also to drive away the darkness, we’ve been exploring light’s creative possibilities. The light art pioneer László Moholy-Nagy created his »Light-Space Modulator« around 100 years ago. Half a century later came Dan Flavin with his fluorescent »Diagonal«.
But I’m sure that even two thousand millennia ago, Homo habilis stood on a dark hill waving his torch about. Possibly to inform the neighbouring clan that the coast was clear (if it was). But also because he just liked the way the sparks would fly. Not a lot has changed in two million years. On the contrary, we are even more fascinated by light today than our ancestors were in the Pleistocene. In part, because we’ve learned how to keep the sparks from catching our hair on fire. Today we celebrate light festivals not on dark hills, but in bright cities.
At the end of September, Berlin, Prague and Lodz will transform themselves into an enormous canvas for light artists from all over the world. Light becomes art. Nothing stays dark if it can be lit up. Streets and houses, the rivers Spree and Vltava. People dress in lights to become kinetic light sculptures. Not a single façade is without a light and shadow play, streetcars shine as eerie 3D illuminations. In Lodz, the Festival of Kinetic Art of Light is going into its sixth edition this year. Since its beginning more than half a decade ago, the festival has drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors and has evolved from simple coloured façade lighting to hypnotic forests of light with giant holographic jellyfish floating dreamlike in the treetops. Berlin, a melting pot of people, cultures, regions and nations, will celebrate »Berlin leuchtet« from 29 September to 15 October 2017. Brandenburg Gate will be transformed into a beautiful gate of lights, the Victory Column shines as a throbbing symbol of love, the river Spree shimmers in hallucinatory colours, and thousands of people will be wandering the streets as walking light sculptures. All in all, more than sixty installations will light up the German capital after sunset. Prague is celebrating its fifth Signal Prague Light Festival in 2017. The Old Town, dark and romantic at any other time of year, will be transformed into a kinetic gallery of light where gleaming clouds of luminescence float over the nar-row lantern lit alleys. Charles Bridge becomes a fluctuating waterfall of light. Interactive illuminated spaces turn the streets into community light cells. Man’s taming of fire has reached its climax.
© Robert Zapedowski, Dark Frame
"IN NATURE, LIGHT CREATES THE COLOUR. IN THE PICTURE, COLOUR CREATES THE LIGHT." – Hans Georg Albert Hofmann
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
For the twelfth year in a row, the German capital’s top spots will be turned into places for light art and illuminative creativity.
From 6 Oct. 2016 to 15 Oct. 2017
FESTIVAL OF LIGHT
Bratislava is getting ready for another year of intoxicating light spectacles. Especially worth seeing is the illuminated UFO Restaurant at the top of the SNP Bridge.
From 21 Sep. 2017 to 23 Sep. 2017
STAY | Vienna House Easy Bratislava
COBURG MUSEUM NIGHT
What began in 2005 as a museum night has evolved into a large festival filled with different sensations. A newcomer locality this year: the historic Marstall riding stables.
9 Sep. 2017
STAY | Vienna House Easy Coburg
ESSEN LIGHT FESTIVAL
The centre of Essen is getting ready for fourteen whole evenings of magically illuminated buildings and squares as well as amazing artistic performances all around the theme of light.
From 29 Oct. 2017 to 11 Nov. 2017
Buildings, streets, monuments and other famous places: the Light Move Festival casts Lodz in a whole new light. The event is a city institution that draws countless nighthawks onto the streets every year.
From 29 Sep. 2017 to 1 Oct. 2017
STAY | Vienna House Andel’s Lodz
The Signal Festival takes place in Prague’s historic city centre
From 12 Oct. 2017 to 15 Oct. 2017
When the Illuminale comes to Trier, tree tops start to glow and the city’s architecture shows itself in bright and colourful lights. The festival has been a highlight of late summer in Trier since 2011.
29 Sep. 2017
STAY | Vienna House Easy Trier