Client: City Utrecht
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Completion date: 2015
Artwork budget: $30,000
Daglicht & Vorm
Marinus Van der Voorden
The personal plan in art was to research former meanings of light in public space. Claire Obscure Ambient Light has finally become an artwork integrated in a light plan to fulfill requirements on visual comfort, social safety and art. The light plan needs to ensure a better social security and atmosphere to attract more people in the evening and to strengthen the social/economical position of the area. Our Claire Obscure Ambient Light project is a reaction on light as cultural matter and light as direct medium creating a lighting design.
As art piece it directly refers to Clair Obscure. Refraction of light on mirrors breaks the light into contrasts and patterns. The contrasts by the different light levels form duality by observing reality in space. The contrast form the patterns. Clair obscure is from origin the definition of space whom is to be perceived by the camera obscura. Painters brought the science term into their medium of painting: Play of light, dark in light, light in dark.
For this shopping centre with an unsafe feeling entrance we needed social safety. The existing lighting created this unsafe feeling by the glare of light sources. In our light plan we therefore created a visual comfort without any glare so an overview on space succeeded: social safe. The second profit was the opportunity to use the contrasts because people were suddenly visually able to see contrasts in space. The visual comfort allows us to see more contrasts without losing eye contact with space. It is a phenomenon which is a contradiction with our culture on perception of dark in space (evil)
Basically we designed lighting models by the computer though the final touch with reflections of light, using mirrors performing different forms an creating light effects is a complex and artistic process. Dark in dark, light in light. All the mirrors have their own patron. We worked together with industrial designers of office Licht en Kleur (Bureau Lek ) to create the program of requirements for the producer. Lighting design is nothing without hardware without a minimal 10 years guaranty. An international company became interested to produce because they see chance to repeat this product with more serial effects.
Light exists, dark doesn’t or there is a lack of light. In our “dark” there is less light though it does not create danger. Our lighting design therefore does not fit to standards of lightingdesign though everyone likes it more as the standard lightingdesigns.