GLOW hits the perfect balance of refinement and spectacle
17 November 2019

GLOW hits the perfect balance of refinement and spectacle

GLOW Eindhoven’s organisers are more than satisfied with the 14th edition. This year the light art festival presented a diversity of works, from small and refined to large and impressive, based on the theme Living Colours. Both the visitors and international light festival organisers sang the praises of the festival’s balance. This edition can justifiably be considered a success. The festival welcomed 770,000 visitors over eight days.

The friendly atmosphere was noticeable everywhere. Visitors enjoyed the light art works that traced a five-kilometre route through Eindhoven city centre. Favourites with the public were Sunflowers for Van Gogh, by Hugo Vrijdag in collaboration with ASML, Van Gogh Brabant, Qinhuai light festival in Nanjing and the Van Gogh Museum. In 2020 the 69 sunflowers will travel to Nanjing and Amsterdam. Colour Symphony, by Jan Fabel, Dirk van Poppel, Erwin Steijlen in collaboration with Signify, has been shared massively on social media. Huge crowds saw the light art works by Ocubo Criativo open the new DOMUSDELA complex, on Friday 8 November, and it remained extremely popular all week.

‘In the cold evening air GLOW is an open book, welcoming to be discovered. After walking 5 kilometres it feels as though our intelligence has taken a step forwards too’ – Pu Hui, visitor

GLOWlabs & Eindhoven roots

GLOW wants to innovate, be distinctive and progressive in the development of light art and light technology. Now and in the future. Once again this year, every light art work has been made especially for GLOW, of which the majority originating from Eindhoven. The city’s strongest cornerstones are expressed in the collaboration between the various parties and the combination of technology and design. Creating light art together appeals to the imagination, creates atmosphere and unites society.

This year saw the first light art works from GLOWlabs. A GLOWlab is a collaborative project that takes place prior to the light art festival. Companies, artists, engineers, designers and (educational) institutions work, based on a certain theme, on an innovative light art work that is given a stage on the route. This year Signify, ASML, GGZE and Waterschap De Dommel, amongst others, have provided an intrinsic contribution in collaboration with Eindhoven designers and students. A good example of this is PING, a light art work by Gijs van Bon and ASML. Together they developed a wireless network which incorporates 250 linked beacons creating an intelligent system through which information can flow. The information is transferred from beacon to beacon with light and sound. This collaboration underpins GLOW’s mission: Eindhoven makes the difference in light art.

GLOW in 2020

With the successful fourteenth edition behind them the organisers are already thinking about the anniversary edition in 2020. The project De Lichtkathedraal by Ellen de Vries was one of this year’s try-outs as a side light on the GLOW route. In a shop on the Nieuwe Emmasingel the brain wave activity of a wide target group was measured during a virtual reality experience in a fictitious cathedral. During the exploratory research they played with the influence and power of light on health in public spaces. They researched the effect of light colour, form and light distribution. Next year the research will be expanded in a GLOWlab, in collaboration with students from the University of Jönköping, so that the research into what light does in public spaces can be performed on a larger scale. The result will be on show as a fully-fledged work of art on the 2020 route.

The theme of the anniversary edition of GLOW is ‘Urban Skin’. From 7 until 14 November 2020 GLOW Eindhoven will be all about every facet of urban skin: from architecture to nature, from centre to urban district, from resident to visitor. Together they give the city its unique appearance and warmth. A theme is given to light artists as a source of inspiration for the light art works each year.