Light is life!

GLOW 2020 took place from 12 to 14 November. If 2020 has made us realise anything, it is just how much of life’s purpose and pleasure comes from relationships and human connections. We need people around us; it’s just the way we’re built. The buzz, the joy, the community, those we love. Close by and far away. Visible and out of sight. We need light, we need life.
 
It’s important to remember that we are not alone. To remember that there are others just like us in our building, in our street, in our town, village or city. In our country. In our world. And to celebrate that we are all connected.
 
And what better place in which and from which to share this message than Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The city which, over 15 years, has connected millions of visitors through the internationally acclaimed GLOW light art festival. Not this year though – GLOW was cancelled, like so much else.
 
Connecting the Dots
But forget that for a moment. We turned this around and created something unforgettable. A one-off, magical moment that took the festival’s “light is life” spirit and translated it to a special edition. An artwork for the people and city of Eindhoven. And for the citizens of the world. A thank you for 15 fantastic years. And a commitment to many more to come. An artwork that came to people and connected them without anyone having to leave their homes. From 12 to 14 November Eindhoven was a living, global symbol of connection, reconnection and hope. We called it Connecting the Dots.

From Eindhoven to the world
Connecting the Dots was a city-wide project and worldwide livestream with three central elements. First, the creation of a sea of beautiful red dots floating throughout the city. 1,000 LED-powered lamps, designed by light artist Ivo Schoofs, spreading light inside and out. Plus over 20,000 lamps made by the city’s residents and around the rest of the world, hung in their windows at home. A project of 20,000 artists, led by designer Hugo Vrijdag. The result is a sea of metaphors upon which anyone, and everyone, can project their thoughts about a person, a dream, a vision, an opinion or an idea.
 
The third element of this unique artwork was a spectacular blue night sky – a blue dome projection by Finnish light artist Kari Kola. An up-lifting warm-blue blanket that wrapped around and embraced you.
 
The result was a beautiful blue sky speckled with fixed and floating red dots, lighting up the city from the inside out to create an unforgettable, moving experience that everyone could enjoy. Just a celebration of light, life and connection for you to enjoy above, around and beyond.

Artists

Artist Ivo Schoofs (1972) from Eindhoven and Finnish artist Kari Kola (1987) created the largest light artwork ever during GLOW 2020! More information about the artists can be found below the photo.

Profiel

Ivo Schoofs & Kari Kola

Against the deep blue background of Kari Kola will be 1000 red, large luminous dots of the artist Ivo Schoofs (1972) from Eindhoven. These dots will dance in the wind and symbolize people, ideas and the connection we make with each other. 
 
Light artworks of the artist Ivo are mostly based on natural phenomena, like movement, gravity, heat and light. Artist Ivo Schoofs adds another level of the essence of life through movement. The work offers the spectator(s), through large-scale audio-visual installations, an experience to return to the base of the forces of natural movement. For GLOW Eindhoven, Schoofs has created several, including world-famous, light installations in recent years. Schoofs has created several light Installations for GLOW over the years. Including: World famous.
 
Previous work
The works ‘Large Pendulum Wave’ and the ’Large Fire Tornado’ made their first appearance during previous GLOW editions, but are now shown all around the world.
 
The light art installation ‘Large Pendulum Wave’ was previously shown at GLOW 2013. The light artwork is based on 15 independent pendulums of different lengths. All of them are lifted up to the left side and then released. From this moment on it’s only gravity that moves the pendulums! There are no motors involved. Because a shorter pendulum swings faster than a longer one, the pendulums won’t stay in line after releasing. Once the frequencies are very accurately adjusted according to a mathematical sequence, the pendulums produce a dance of standing and running waves and quasi chaos.
 
In his work ‘Large Fire Tornado’ during GLOW 2015, the natural element of fire was the main topic. Fire is the mother of light; nature in all its destructive beauty.  If you see what happens when a tornado raged across a forest fire to elevate the flames. After a successful scale-model of a fire tornado, Ivo Schoofs and his team have now built a fascinating fire art installation which spectacularly exposes a piece of nature’s architecture.
 
Contrary to the name of the work ‘Chaotic Swing’ Schoofs had to work in a very structured and precise manner for his light artwork during GLOW 2018. The kinetic installation comprises two linked pendula that constantly influence each other, through which the total movement becomes unpredictable and therefore chaotic.
 
With his work ‘Cursor’ during GLOW 2019 Schoofs called for everyone to pay more attention to all the beauty in the sky. He let a cursor float in the sky, a cursor which we all recognize as the same one used on desktop computers and laptops. The same balloon, that let the cursor float, will be used to let the dots fly during GLOW 2020.
 
Important for GLOW is that the artwork is circular. That’s why Schoofs balloons will be from organic latex and filled with helium. The helium will be extracted after the project is finished and will be stored as liquid helium that can be used again. The latex balloons will go to the artist Jalila Essaïdi (1980) of Bio artlab from Eindhoven. She will reuse them for a new art project www.bioartlab.com .

The Finnish artist Kari Kola (1987) is worldwide famous for his great light art pieces. In Eindhoven during GLOW 2018 he lit up the Pullman Hotel in its own recognizable deep blue colour. This year he will give Eindhoven its own magical blue night sky. Which he describes as a warm blanket for Eindhoven.
 
Kola grew up in an environment in which nature and light were inseparable. The long dark winter months, the Northern Lights and the long summer evenings led to Kola’s fascination with (art)light. In his light installations he seeks for a connection with nature and reaches new impact levels through creating awareness. With his company Botana he already lit up impressive locations all of the world. For instance: UNESCO world heritage location, Stonehenge.

In his work ‘Lumious Finland 100’ Kola lit up six locations spread across Finland in blue light honouring the 100th year existence of the country. After this he founded ‘Savage Beauty’ which brings attention to the beauty of the mountains Connemara in Ireland. Connecting the Dots in Eindhoven will be his biggest site specific light artwork to date.
 
Previous work
Once before, during GLOW (2018), Kola illuminated the Pullman Hotel in Eindhoven with its recognizable blue light, which was visible up to two kilometers high in the sky and twenty kilometers far away. With his ’Something Blue’ he grabbed everyone's attention, which even resulted in a photo competition that revolved completely around his creation.
 
During GLOW 2019, he took a different approach and collaborated with artist Alessandro Lupi on his work ‘Mindsets’. This collaboration resulted in a collection of geometric shapes floating on the water at the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven. But in which he refers to his roots by creating an atmosphere in the museum that is reminiscent of the Northern Lights.
 
With the work ‘Lumious Finland 100’, six massive pieces of light art were exhibited all around Finland during this jubilee year of Finnish independence. Remarkably and unique was one of the six pieces: the mountain in his homeland. This piece was lit up in its entirety. After this he turned his attention to the beauty of the mountains of Connemara in Ireland with his light art piece ‘Savage Beauty’.
 
To celebrate UNESCO World Heritage Day and as part of activities to mark 100 years of care and conservation at Stonehenge, English Heritage worked with Finnish Light Artist Kari Kola to light up the iconic stone circle at the heart of the World Heritage Site.