light arts festival 'llum BCN' brightens up every corner of barcelona

light arts festival 'llum BCN' brightens up every corner of barcelona

llum bcn lights up barcelona’s streets and squares

 

The Llum BCN light arts festival, one of the most important events on Barcelona’s cultural calendar, brings tens of thousands of city residents together in streets and squares around the works of creators in every field, ranging from contemporary art to architecture, and from technology to design lighting. Sponsored by Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), the 2023 edition of the public event turned the Spanish city into an urban lab of exploration, including works of Kimchi and Chips and SpY.

light arts festival 'llum BCN' brightens up every corner of barcelona
(above) the 2023 edition of Llum BCN turned the Spanish city into an urban lab of exploration (Monolith by SpY)

(banner) Another Moon by Kimchi and Chips | image © Christian Bertrand

all images courtesy of ISE unless stated otherwise

 

 

Barcelona has been lighting up for three nights every February since 2011. Organized by the Barcelona City Council and sponsored by Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), Llum BCN brings everyone into the streets and squares. The 2023 edition brought together two artists that initiated an inter-generational discourse. Born in 1924, pioneering Hungarian computer artist Vera Molnár has since 2020 been ‘conversing’ with 1982-born French creator Joanie Lemercier. This conversation titled Carrés magiques de traits lumineux was expressed in two works which were presented for the first time at Llum BCN: a large-format public projection, produced by Lemercier in homage to principles and ideas in Molnar’s work, and a new projection and laser piece jointly created by both artists, which could be seen in the DHUB lobby.

 

 

‘Llum is a benchmark festival in Europe of installations that are made with light. As with the previous 11 editions, this event is 100% commissioned by the City Hall of Barcelona,’ states Eva Soria Puig, Director of Innovation, Research and Visual Arts at the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona. 

light arts festival 'llum BCN' brightens up every corner of barcelona
organized by the Barcelona City Council and sponsored by ISE, BCN brought everyone outdoors (Another Moon by Kimchi and Chips) | image © Christian Bertrand

 

 

Between 03-05 February, 2023, the visitors got to witness mesmerizing light installations with energy-self-sufficient post-carbon urban icons, such as Another Moon from the Korean collective Kimchi and Chips, where lasers powered only by solar energy sketched a “second moon” above Poblenou Central Park. Indoors, at the Disseny Hub Barcelona (DHUB), Abel Korinsky and Orhan aib” Kavrakoglu presented Call Out, a giant light matrix that was tracing the orbits of satellites which, at the same time, were crossing Barcelona’s sky just a few kilometers above our heads. SpY‘s monumental street art cold not be missed as the studio’s Kubrick-inspired monolith lit up in flaming red, projecting a hypnotic visual experience of human devolution in regards to technology.

 

 

Other works included Signes by Playmodes; Arborialis by Architects of Air; Anima by Nick Verstand; Atmospheric Lighthouse by Richard Vijgen; Liberty and Light by Chila Kumari Singh Burman; Abstract by Collectif Coin; We Harvest Wind by Thijs Biersteker; Glía by Pedro Torres; and Compositions Lumineuses by Studio Joanie Lemercier.

light arts festival 'llum BCN' brightens up every corner of barcelona
the works range from architecture and technology to design lighting (Call out by Abel Korinsky and Orhan “aib” Kavrakoglu) | image © Christian Bertrand

 

 

‘call out’ traces satellites in real time

 

Call out by Abel Korinsky and Orhan “aib” Kavrakoglu aims to invite reflection on the impact on outer space of this commercial invasion and on the dangers that the rising number of these devices represent, especially when they become space junk. The work traces the satellites in real time as they fly above the local site and transform this information into numerous light patterns divided into five scenes, such as the explosion of light that warns of the danger of collision when two satellites cross paths.

 

 

‘Our work is about satellites, arranged into this grid of LED lights, which respond in five different scenes. For example, when two satellites get too close to each other, small sparkles or explosions of light begin to appear,’ explains co-creator Orhan “aib” Kavrakoğlu.

light arts festival 'llum BCN' brightens up every corner of barcelona
Call out by Abel Korinsky and Orhan “aib” Kavrakoglu | image © Christian Bertrand

 

 

kubrick-inspired ‘monolith’ projects a hypnotic experience

 

Stanley Kubrick gave contemporary Western culture a mystery: the monolith that serves as the guiding thread in his science-fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is an object of unknown origin and meaning that comes into contact with human beings to provoke an evolutionary leap in their cognitive capacity. Monolith by the artist SpY is a hypnotic visual experience that traces a link between cinematography and all the screens that surround us on a daily basis. In other words, it is a direct allegory of how humans have integrated these screens into their lives to an extent that they use them as media to build identities and to modify realities.

 

 

‘It is monolith that invites us to think of Kubrick’s Space Odyssey. It is an impactful piece that invites the visitor to see the relationship between people and screens in a bigger size,’ says Oriol Pastor, the work’s digital art curator. 

light arts festival 'llum BCN' brightens up every corner of barcelona
Monolith by SpY

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Monolith by SpY

 

KIMCHI AND CHIPS CREATE A SECOND MOON FOR LLUM BCN

 

Another Moon, by the South Korean collective Kimchi and Chips, made another moon appear in the Barcelona sky, a satellite responding to a spectacular technological and climate-aware artifice. Powerful laser beams projected against the night sky to create a three-dimensional shape with beams powered by solar batteries. In the same way the Moon becomes visible thanks to the light reflected from our Sun, this second moon was possible thanks to the solar energy accumulated during the day and freed at night; an ephemeral energy to awaken awareness of our dependency on energy sources coming from fossil fuels.

light arts festival 'llum BCN' brightens up every corner of barcelona
close-up of Another Moon by Kimchi and Chips | image © Christian Bertrand

 

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Another Moon by Kimchi and Chips | image © Christian Bertrand

light arts festival 'llum BCN' brightens up every corner of barcelona
Monolith by SpY

 

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Call out by Abel Korinsky and Orhan “aib” Kavrakoglu | image © Christian Bertrand 

 

event info:

 

name: Llum BCN | @llumbcn
location: Barcelona, Spain
dates: 03-05 February, 2023
artists: Kimchi and Chips; Abel Korinsky and Orhan “aib” Kavrakoglu; SpY; Playmodes; Architects of Air; Nick Verstand; Richard Vijgen; Chila Kumari Singh Burman; Collectif Coin; Thijs Biersteker; Pedro Torres; Studio Joanie Lemercier

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