Amsterdam Light Festival 2017: Opening Night

By Cissy Lott-Lavigna

Last night was the opening of Amsterdam Light Festival 2017 water exhibition, and what a stunning collection of work it was! There’s a wide array of installations varying from immersive time warp tunnels, to live projection performance, to upside-down maps. Each piece is hugely valuable in it’s own right but we wanted to give Makerversity’s little collection of highlights! Especially as this year, in a couple weeks, Amsterdam Light Festival is opening it’s land exposition for the very first at our home turf, the Marineterrein! So we are especially enthusiastic about this year’s festival!

Of course these wonderful pieces are best seen at water level, but some of them were absolutely necessary to be on a boat. Paul Vendel and Sandra de Wolf created probably one of the festival’s most photogenic pieces, but there’s a very powerful quality of the immersion; being pulled into a suction of moving lights. Their work ‘Whole Hole’ had a quality that the many pictures can’t justify. The gentle movement of the lights that travel beside you at the same pace as the boat created this alluring, time-warping, space-changing, mind-hypnotising tunnel. An extremely exciting use of the architecture of the city and the use of transition and movement to elevate their piece.

Another particularly wonderful piece, which was especially hard to justify photographically, was ACTLD’s Light Matters. They created mirage-like filmic projections against a three-layered beige mesh, so it seemed as though this light and imagery was appearing in the middle of nothing. Their projections, of entrancing light spectacles (glowing jellyfish, aurora borealis), created a dreamy outdoor planetarium, aquarium, cinema hybrid!

A beautiful, subtle underlining piece was Ai Weiwei’s ‘thinline’. A 6.5km red thread of light connecting the festival pieces together. It encloses you in a comforting circle but also makes you question the idea of being in a bordered environment. A prominent reminder of the span and space that the festival utilises but also of our attitude to this representative border.

Other pieces we think you should keep a look out for:

Lightwave by Lauren Ewing


Windows by Lynne Leegte


Citygazing by VOUW

We could talk about the wonderment of all the pieces, but considering there are 21 phenomenal light works on the water we highly recommend you go and enlighten yourselves!

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Posted By Cissy Lott-Lavigna

Graphic Design graduate from Kingston University. Working and living in Amsterdam.

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