Figments of Lights
This project was finalist of the Amsterdam Light Festival 2015-2016. The dome is a shape which can be found anywhere in nature, whether it is a geographical dome, formed by magma, the shape of an egg or the dome shaped flower of the thistle. Similarly, dome shapes are also part of history of humankind, from the old Pantheon in Rome and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to the modern glass domes in the US. Domes have a natural appeal to humans, they attract people to gather and interact. Domes work well together with light in creating effects and atmosphere. The shape of a dome concentrates de light and reflects it to a central point. The rotation of the domes in this installation create a variety of figures and overlays of colored light on the ground below. Figments of light gently attract people like moths to a source of light, ensconcing them in the ever changing blends of shapes and colors, inviting them to share the experience with strangers, unifying them in the process. While approaching the sculpture the colour that surrounds the location overtakes the visitor. The reflection of lights and the colours of the dome on the little hill on the ground invites observation. As visitors take position under the dome they become part of the sculpture as colours and shapes of light move and change unpredictably all around them, ensconcing them in the experience. This sculpture represents friendship in its pure sense. The kind of friendship that is at the basis of the European Union. Figments of Light is meant to be part of the Walking Route. A wondrous experience as a pedestrian or biker is achieved by a striking impact and a later submersion into the changing lights and colours. Of simple, safe and feasible construction, a mechanical wonder for both small and big children, a gathering spot, like a small fireplace in the cold of winter. The main structure consists of three fiberglass shells produced by Polycel. The shells, each measuring ca. 3 metres across, are reinforced along rims, at load bearing points as well as radially through layering the fiberglass with PU‐foam. The lower two shells have openings, allowing light to pass. The top shell has a single surface without holes, making the sculpture weather proof. The outside rim of the top shell has imbedded fitments to allow safe suspension. From each of the three suspension points two triangulated steel cables run to a nearby tree, raising the structure 3.5 metres from the ground, making it stable in windy circumstances. The weight of structure is app. 225 kg. The structural engineer is prof. Jürgen Scholte‐Wassink. The core structure consists of steel pipes with flanges, separated by bearings for smooth rotation. Two electro motors power the lower two shells, making them rotate in opposite directions. The core is manufactured by students from ROC Amsterdam. The light is produced by 75 m. of RGB led strips in 2 separate groups. The 2 groups will run through colour sequences independently. The eletric system functions on 12 or 24 Volts. The system runs autonomously only requiring switching on/off.