Culture: Leeds light show will mix art and quantum physics

It’s going to be Chaos when Light Night Leeds returns

By Mark Cantrell

Light Night Leeds

AN artistic light show will use the science of quantum physics to ‘paint’ one of Leeds’ historic buildings in a kind of kaleidoscopic illumination.

Light Night Leeds, as the spectacle is known, takes place this week on the nights of the 4th and 5th October A team of international artists will transform the appearance of the city’s Georgian-era Civic Hall, using it as a canvass to explore the relationship between technology and nature.

Entitled Chaos, the piece has been inspired by The University of Leeds’s research into quantum chaos and aims to re-imagine complex physics through a stunning combination of light, sound and movement.

The dynamic projection is being created by Spanish digital studio Hotaru Visual Guerrilla and is set to be one of the highlights of the annual arts extravaganza, which this year has a theme of progress and innovation.

Based in San Sebastian in Basque Country, Hotaru Visual Guerrilla’s work has previously been shown in Germany, Russia and Japan.

“Throughout the universe, there are systems that, despite being chaotic, tend to naturally become ordered and we can say that life itself is an expression of self-organizing systems,” said artist Jone Vizcaino.

“This piece explores the beauty of chaos through light, sound and movement. With a combination of abstract forms, we will transform the architecture of the Leeds Civic Hall.

“We were very attracted to the idea of working on an architecture with such a classic structure that we could transform into something new.”

Chaos comes after previous Leeds Civic Hall pieces including last year’s incredible Out of the Aire and 2016’s magnificent Phoenix in the Stone. Last year, Light Night attracted more than 80,000 people to the city centre.

But Vizcaino’s fellow artist Ander Ugartemendia said the thousands expected to once again flock to Millennium Square this October can expect to see something very different.

“It will be a contemporary piece with a non-linear narrative which we think will be interesting for the public and the audio is being specially composed to give strength to the emotions that we want to evoke to the audience,” he said.

“We’ve never visited Leeds, but we have heard that it has an amazing independent DIY art culture which attracts us a lot.”

The Leeds Civic Hall projection will be one of more than 50 installations spread across some of Leeds city centre’s most recognisable locations on October 4 and 5, including Victoria Gate, The Queens Hotel, Kirkgate Market and Leeds Town Hall.

The programme will include light, sound and dance pieces that celebrate Leeds’s past, present and future and include themes of history, technology and social change.

“Over the past 14 years, Light Night Leeds has continued to evolve, growing into an event of such impressive ambition and creativity that it has become one of the benchmarks for culture and innovation in Leeds and beyond,” said Councillor Judith Blake, the city council’s leader.

“At a time when social change and inclusion are such prominent subjects, this year’s theme of progress and innovation also has particular poignancy.

“As Light Night once again brings thousands of people together, we hope that the event is not only a celebration of culture and artistic endeavour, but also of the unity, diversity and collective civic pride which are part of the foundation of Leeds.”




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