Light Pillar Installation UnU Snow

UnU Installation for Amsterdam Light Festival

I have applied for the Amsterdam Light Festival edition 2017. My application did get to the second round. But it has not been selected to be finalized. I don’t know the reason why ‘UnU’ has not been selected. I have mixed feelings about this endeavor. I am kind of proud of being selected in the first place. I also think I have made a good second round proposal. I have sorted out all the technical and financial difficulties and made a detailed design. But I really wanted a chance to make this installation. I think it would be a great experience for me, but also for the visitors of the Amsterdam Light Festival.

The Concept

Wandering through white pillars a person initiates the coming to life of these pillars. Twenty four, man-high, white pillars are arranged in three concentric circles. In the middle of the pillars is a low platform. This platform has a dimmed pulsating light. When a person enters the platform the surrounding pillars and the platform come to life. The pulsating light of the platform becomes brighter. The pillars start to pulsate one by one. The pulsation of the pillars is asynchronous and random with a bright white light. Slowly the lights from the pillars and platform synchronize. Then one by one the pillars after a fierce explosion of light shut down. Finally, the light goes out on the platform. After some time the platform is going to pulsate again with dimmed light, inviting the next person to step on. The duration of the experience is about one minute.

‘Out of many, one’

It is an individual who initiates the coming to life of the pillars. The human on the platform is surrounded by surreal pulsating beings. He is responsible for the action taken. He also has to undergo the consequences of this action. But he is also a part of the installation. In a way He is one of the pillars standing there connected through light. The pulsating lights symbolize the wave like principles of life and light itself. The pillars also symbolize a forest. Where you can walk through and hide yourself to be found again, where you can be seen and unseen. The pillars could also symbolize a temple. A temple of light reminiscent of classic temples in ancient Egypt and Greece. UnU means One in Esperanto.

The Lighting design

When stepped upon the pulsating platform, the pillars will light up in a pulsating way. The light will consist of dynamic white (3100k-6000k range). The sequence of the pillars, the duration and the range of the light color will be randomized within certain limits. Every experience will be unique. The duration will be around 1 minute.

The pillars are satin colored acrylic tubes with an outside diameter of 20cm and a height of 200cm. The installation has a diameter of 450cm. Inside the center of the tube an aluminum pipe is placed. On this pipe two discs are placed. One at the bottom and one at the top. Those discs prevent horizontal and vertical movement. The discs are bolted to the pipe with a steel sleeve. A string of waterproof led lights (with leddriver) is wrapped around the center aluminum pipe. In this way the light is consistent throughout the tube. There will be no blind spots.

The center aluminum pipe is anchored to a large underground frame. This frame prevents the tubes from tipping over when force is applied. Furthermore it connects all the pillars together which is handy for the wiring. The frame will be placed at a depth of 20cm which minimizes the digging impact in the ground. The platform in the middle will have a diameter of 50cm. Consisting of an aluminum box with a thick acrylate cover. A thin detection switch will be placed between the cover and the box. Triggering the animation when stepped upon. Led lights will be placed at the bottom.