Where did you begin?
I started at Glow Next, which I think is where the more interesting stuff is happening. I think its value is completely under-estimated! Glow Next was in the Strijp-S area and the industrial feel of the neighborhood lends itself nicely to the more modern/experimental projects on display there.
Tell us about some of the projects you saw.
The first project I saw was Natural Elements. They say in the preview text that “natural light has an enormous influence on us” and before I saw this piece I hadn’t read a thing about it, but my immediate reaction to it was relaxation. It was mesmerizing to watch the rather vague images on the four huge screens and I enjoyed basking in the glow (no pun intended!) of the light they emitted. So, while we think of light therapy as a way to combat sad, this installation also felt like a way to combat low moods/depression but in a more stylish way. It immediately connected to the idea of light-therapy and how this is definitely creating more options for the ill.
Fredrik – This one was more about the shadows created by light rather than necessarily the light itself. It felt like a natural part of the buildings that flanked it and not necessarily like something that had just been created for Glow Next. I could almost imagine cities using this kind of lighting to create illuminated areas (to boost safety, etc) but also to create small pockets of art.
Blooms – Light enabled the object (in this case a flower-like sculpture that looked like a dahlia) spin around – which then made the sculpture even more beautiful. This exhibition was particularly interesting because it showcased the ways in which light and mathematics are coming together. Click here to know more about the whole idea:
Did anything in particular stand out to you? And why?
Hidden Towers felt super sci-fi and after reading more about it I saw that the creators were inspired by the work of science-fiction writer William Gibson. Out of all the exhibits at Glow, this is the one that really stood out and felt the most modern. Even from only the outside (I didn’t go in…) the images streaming across the exterior of the dome made you feel like you’d stepped into Minority Report. Hmmm… why? Maybe because the dome was a huge sphere, it sort of felt like the Death Star from Star Wars. The images playing across its surface were either completely abstract or snippets of images that felt slightly gritty, dark, post-apocalyptic. Also, because it was circular, the experience felt more immersive – again, even from just the outside.
I think because we’ve become so used to “immersive” experiences that we’re more drawn to exhibitions like this. People’s senses today demand more stimuli and something like this – a gigantic, brightly-lit sphere with images both inside and out – helps appease our desire for experience.
Anything to add?
Something I did find interesting was the reaction from people. I took a moment to ‘people-watch’ - some glance at them for a few seconds and move on to the next and some stay still and watch. You can see that those who stay become a bit entranced. Particularly at Blooms, people were really captured by the spinning flower and the beauty of the exhibit infected the mood of the entire group gathered around it.
As for Glow itself – it was fun as usual – but not drastically different from the year before. GLOW always reminds you how valuable lighting innovation is and just how much it is transforming our future.