Fira Barcelona, Gran Vía
31 Jan - 03 Feb 2023

Llum BCN transforms Barcelona into a lighting laboratory

Llum BCN, the great Barcelona festival of light and technology, arrives in the city on 5 November to celebrate its tenth edition. Organised by the Cultural Institute of Barcelona (ICUB), the festival will showcase 31 installations created by national and international artists and schools, which will completely transform the Poblenou district. The lights will fill the old industrial district with colour, becoming a technological laboratory for three days.

Large state-of-the-art buildings, old factory chimneys, industrial warehouses and building sites will change thanks to the expressive capabilities of light. Attendees will be able to see the work of artists from around the world who represent different disciplines: art, lighting design and interactive environments, architecture, expanded audiovisual and live arts. These artists will explore the possibilities offered by new techniques such as dynamic lighting, interactive environments, large-scale projection, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

This year, the festival recognises the figure of the Spanish visual artist Eugenia Balcells, who will present two installations under the subject Light as the voice of matter: the projection of the work Frequencies on the facade of the Design Museum will show the chemical symbols of each element, and the work From Infrared to Ultraviolet, which will illuminate the Glòries Tower and show horizons of colour on an urban scale.

Studios, collectives and artists from the international scene will create powerful sensory experiences with new tools and techniques. The French duo Nonotak, one of the key names on the European digital scene, will introduce their hypnotic changing geometries on the stage of the Casino de L’Aliança del Poblenou.

At the MUHBA Oliva Artés museum, Italy’s Quiet Ensemble will present the sculpture performance Unshaped, a choreography of light on a large canvas suspended in space.

In your Mind’s Eye, an ambitious installation by the experienced interaction designer Ben Kreukniet, will explore the limits of the perception of Llum BCN visitors, in one of the most immersive and experimental projects of this year’s edition.

The Spanish digital scene will also be well represented by consolidated studios and creators such as Playmodes, Onionlab and Xavi Bové, along with new names such as Tigrelab and digital animator Lucas Gutierrez, who brings to the festival the emerging language of immersive screenings at the IDEAL centre of digital arts.

Additionally, Barcelona-based duo Lolo & Sosaku will install more than 50 kinetic sculptures in the courtyard of the Can Framis Museum; these will take over the environment and converse through reflections, blinks and sounds.

On another note, the park of the Center del Poblenou will be transformed into a kind of open-air museum with light sculptures created by 16 schools in the city. And this is something that differentiates Llum BCN from other lighting festivals – the commitment to experimentation and innovation by students of Barcelona’s schools of art, design, lighting and architecture, who participate with various lighting installations.

ISE is a partner to Llum BCN this year, and Senior Operations Director André Hooijer will be joining the judging panel. Lighting has long formed an integral part of the ISE event and plans to expand these areas for ISE 2022 are well underway. For example, the demonstration areas have been expanded, with a new Lighting & Staging area which will feature many technologies designed to create amazing, immersive experiences with light.

ISE 2022 will take place at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Vía on 1-4 February 2022. The ISE Conference programme runs from Monday 31 January through to Friday 4 February.

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