Design

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Festival of light to hit London next year

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London is to be transformed next January by a festival of light, with 20 different installations set to help burn away the post-Christmas blues. The Lumiere light festival began in Durham back in 2009 as a biennial event, and makes its way to the capital for the first time this year. Creative charity Artichoke is behind the event, which will be largely based around in London’s already bold and colourful West End and King’s Cross areas and has been backed by none other than Mayor of London Boris Johnson. Many of the names involved and the specific installations they’ll be working on are being kept under wraps for now, but several have already been released, including artists such as Julian Opie, Janet Echelman, Anne Cleary and Dennis Connolly (of Cleary Connolly).

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LAb[au]

Echelman will combine craft and tech in a sculptural piece inspired by natural phenomena and in particular the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Using data from NASA, Studio Echelman have turned this phenomenon into a 3D image, the basis of which was used to create the shape of the enormous net sculpture. Floating above a location in Central London, audiences will be invited to play with the sculpture using a specially created app that manipulates the light and patterns projected onto it.

London is to be transformed next January with 20 light installations set to burn away the post-Christmas blues

Belgian art studio LAb[au], a company that started out by making cybernetic art in the 1960s, will create a piece called Binary Waves, which uses infrared sensors to capture invisible flows of information that surround us from mobile phones, radios and cars and show this through light, sound and colour. Electromagnetic waves will be translated into optical effects with red and white LEDs, with each impulse passed from one panel to the next in a wave effect, with the aim of displaying the everyday life of London, capturing the rhythm and flow of the city in continually evolving formations.

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Cleary Connolly

Cleary Connolly meanwhile, specialise in digital interactive projections and say their work will require observer participation. Their “Joining the Dots” installation, commissioned by the King’s Cross Partnership, promises the intriguing involvement of psychologists and residents from the local area. It takes the form of a video installation and will see the human body reduced to 13 moving points. When still the images are abstract but as the points move figures dancing, running and walking will emerge. Finally, Opie will be creating a new permanent piece, which will be using the festival as its premiere unveiling. His work is currently under wraps, but a British artist of his calibre surely has something incredible up his sleeves.

The Lumiere light festival began in Durham back in 2009, and makes its way to the capital for the first time this year

Artichoke director and Lumiere curator Helen Marriage, said of the festival: “Lumiere is about changing expectations – buildings you think you know change their shape and appearance; public spaces become places where strange and delightful things happen. It’s exciting because it makes everyone think differently about the city and what is possible” The festival will take place over four evenings in January 2016, with the city to be transformed into a nocturnal delight and best of all, it will be completely free to attend. The full programme is set to be unveiled over the coming months via the Visit London website.

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Studio Echelman

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