Light and art have been used in conjunction at various events and spaces even before they evolved into the new media techniques of projection mapping or augmented reality. It becomes tricky to determine ‘old’ light art developed into new media communication, but we have listed a few key artistic innovations that have paved the way.
1. Amusement Parks
Fairs and amusement parks are places of enjoyment for family and friends commonplace throughout time. As the rollercoasters got more elaborate and cartoon characters had their own rides, technology weaved its way into how we understand theme park entertainment. Lit up Ferris wheels and neon carousels transformed the way we looked at weekend entertainment. Vivid light settings add a dimension of entertainment to night rides.
2. Weddings and Events
Festive functions in and of themselves, weddings have always been evolving in decor and lighting. Parties and soirees set up spaces that are made for celebration and the use of light has always been an accompaniment. Over time, candles and lanterns have evolved into elaborate LED light setups that create an immersive theme. Such events are hence the perfect example of spaces where light and art experiences have evolved.
3. Concerts and Laser Shows
Music and light are usually associated with one another, especially in settings such as raves and concerts. Light shows are commonly shown at EDM concerts as they are perfect for creating a seamless, immersive atmosphere for the music. In perfect synchronisation with the music, light and laser shows are another example of the use of light in a variety of popular art forms.
An exhibition ground in Prague, we believe it should get a special mention in this post. While light and art are used in conjunction commonly today, to find a historical structure doing this is quite rare. Výstaviště Praha was traditionally built for cultural events and celebrations and hosts the Krizikova Fountain, a light fountain built in 1891. This fountain has nightly shows with synchronised classical music and is one of the main attractions for Výstaviště Praha.
4. Christmas or Holiday Lighting
The holiday season has always been a festive season associated with light and merriment. It is western tradition to decorate houses with light and symbols associated with the Christmas season. Red and green colours, a reindeer with a lit-up nose or a white, bright Fir tree with a sparkling blue snowflake on top bring to mind the winter holidays. This tradition has grown into public spaces over time, such that parks and walkways have a festive environment in the winter months.
5. Fountain Shows
When you think of light and fountain shows, Las Vegas’ Bellagio Fountain is one of the first that comes to mind. Synchronised light and music fountains are a fairly recent attraction but have a high appeal. They are not just space decorations but become public attractions, and have hordes of people gathering to watch. Places such as Las Vegas or Dubai have such public space fountain shows that use water and light in harmony to create spell-binding experiences.