Radiance 07 – Glasgow Festival of Light

Radiance is part of Glasgow’s “Winterfest” (not sure how I feel about Winterfest – seems to gloss over Christmas too much but at least it pulls great events like this). Over the course of this weekend unique lighting, video and audio-visual displays were installed in various places through the city center -well Merchant City area really

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Rottenrow Gardens and some of the buildings of Strathclyde University were lit in interesting ways.  The low level lights shining on paths and plants picked out architectural details and changed the way the space was used.  In fact one of the delights about wandering around the city on a dark cold evening looking at all this visual art was the number of other people doing the same thing which made for a strangely mellow, but fun sense of community.

Some buildings were lit to show their architectural detail – Ramshorn was bathed in slowly changing LED lighting.  Other placed had AV displays set up.

The third photo shows what was described as ‘social sculpture, a performance and a video screening.  I didn’t think much of the actual video (or accompanying audio) but the setting was incredible – located in a dodgy back alley that I’ve never noticed before and certainly wouldn’t have ventured up at any other time of day or night other than the fact that a massive screen was hung between the buildings to create this spectacle.

The big show-case area seemed to be Glasgow Cathedral where the scale of the building was used very well to project onto two sides to match an audio track.  It was captivating, but I’m not sure if there was supposed to be a narrative that I missed.

There wasn’t time to go around everything and some pieces were small scale, stand alone others required participation.  My favorite was three massive led lightboxes set up in John Street between the City Chambers building called Triptych.  This was totally interactive in that if people simply stood and looked at the lights they gradually faded and stopped doing anything, but as people moved around in front of them, fast or slow, close or not-so – simply the more attention that is paid to these large boxes of light the more they do.  The sound system backing all this up as good too -heavy loud bass mostly, very good.

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