Back to Eindhoven again, although this time at night for the annual Glow festival where artists, students, creatives, scientists and technicians create and display pieces over the city using artificial light. Before leaving I scoped out the routes and decided I would take the city route which obviously worms through the city as opposed to the other route: the science route.
Upon arriving at the city on a wet and cold Monday evening, as soon as I walked out the station at the Stationsplein there was a large sculpture intriguingly called: ‘Just because you have character, doesn’t make you a character’. It was a tall piece with rotating shapes, which upon rotating continually formed different shapes and characters.
It was easy to keep track of the route as it was well marked, I was also able to follow the crowd but also use my map. Further along the route was the ‘Magical Garden’ that was in what looked like a car park but transformed into what is it titled, a magical garden. Red and blue lights lit the trees up a bright purple hue whilst small food and drink stalls below wafted their smells in the wind; the smoke and steam coming from these adding to the aura and intensifying the light. It was also a great place to stop for a few minutes by the wood fire to warm up and dry out a little bit.
Carrying on, another good stop was at the Catharinakerk where the entire front façade of the church was covered in a light projection of a mythical film. Titled ‘Labyrinth of Passion’ by the French production company, Les Orpailleurs des Lumiere.
After doing some research, I believe the film is an interpretation of Dies Irae and it uses the music of Verdi. Although quite confusing it was an epic spectacle as dragons and beasts spun up the church, flames and waves crashing and all sorts of other scenes with the legendary and unmistakable soundtrack playing loudly and adding to the overall setting. These light projections on to buildings have become popular recently and I remember seeing one for the first time in Liverpool, they are great and take skill to get right; this time with the added bonus of being on an old, historical church.
After a bunch of other projects I was nearing the end of the city route but instead of heading towards the station like I intended I chose to carry on and head towards the science route section of the event as what I had seen so far was so good that I wanted to continue. The science section was mostly in the TU/e campus — itself a great looking piece of architecture with lots of concrete and angular buildings. Most of the pieces here were more technical, scientific and complex; some even using live lighting i.e. lightning electricity; which is always cool.
One of my highlights of this route was the ‘Photonic modulation of light and space’. A light cube on water which beautifully flowed from colour to colour using thousands of lights — making perfect gradients and blends to start with but then switching to a Mondrian style with red, yellow and blue colours in defined squares hopping across the whole cube, it was a real spectacle and being interested in de ‘Stijl’ art movement and its minimalist principles, it was special to witness this modern and innovative interpretation whilst in the Netherlands.
My absolute favourite part of the evening though was not officially part of the science route but a side project: Het Oneindelicke Labyrint. A maze made from 12,000 beer crates, spanning a 40m x 45m space and in the dark. It was absolutely hilarious yet incredibly annoying trying to find my way out of what I initially thought was an easy/joke maze; I was mistaken. I must’ve been in there for about 30 minutes trying to find my way out whilst every turn I was confronted by another 12-foot wall of blue Bavaria beer crates. At the entrance they gave everyone a small torch that only highlighted the amount of beer crates there was and barely helped; if anything it only added to the torment. But I eventually made it out alive and unscathed by utilisng my extremely minimal amount of Dutch language i.e. ingang and uitgang (entrance/exit). Although as annoying as it was, it was great fun on my own and a really good idea to use these crates as a building material.
Overall, Glow was a great experience and Eindhoven is a great city with really interesting old and new architecture and a great design buzz; as much as somebody like me who is interested in art and design enjoyed it, you don’t need to be to enjoy this event which was apparent with the wide range of people that were there. I hope some of the photographs I took — which are included in this blog — are able to do the event justice. A lot of the projects had moving elements which is hard to show as well as a thumping electronic soundtrack across the whole event.
Glow is definitely something that is worth going to if you get the chance and despite the cold and wet November evening and the long train journey it was thoroughly excellent.