Waking the City Statues

Submitted by Kristján Kristjánsson

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Client: Reykjavik city

Location: Reykjavik, state, United States

Completion date: 2014

Project Team

Artist

Kristján Kristjánsson

Myrkraverk lightarts

Artist

Arnar Leifsson

Artist

Sveinn Bentiktsson

Artist

Hafdís Bjarnadóttir

Overview

Waking the City Statues
The main objective of The Winter Lights Festival was to illuminate the dramatic darkness of winter with a collection of sparkling events, which both celebrate and emphasize the beauty of Reykjavík City

Goals

The festival was opened officially by the Mayor of Reykjavík, Jón Gnarr, at the Einar Jónsson Museum on Thursday 6th February featuring our light-art installation Waking the Statues which transformed the statues in the Sculpture Garden to come to life using projection mapping technology and synchronized lights taking guests to a mystical place by the help of lights, video and tone. The exhibition lasted for 8 days total and got over 6000 guests visiting the garden in total. The project was sponsored by the Scandinavian art and culture fund Kultur Kontakt Nord. The installation is scheduled to be exhibited in both Torshavn and Manchester later in the year

Process

The trickiest part of this project was the fact that we had to do all mask creation on site. These statues only exist in the outdoor garden. All of our preparation was done in February, which is usually the most harsh and cold month of the year in Iceland. Once we set up the projectors we created a mask to fill the statue exactly without any spilling. Once we had the masks however we could work on compositing visual material in our heated homes.All lights in the garden had to be turned off since they interfered with the LED light installment. The default lights had a sunlight detector which we tricked by gaffer taping a small handheld LED light to the detector making the garden thing it was experiencing constant daylight. LED lights gave the overall visual style of the garden and we made sure to use the same color palettes for the DMX controller as for all digital material.

Additional Information

Ambient Music Sound installation for the light art was provided by the Icelandic Music Composer Hafdis Bjarnadottir. She used ambient sounds to from the actual surroundings to bend time and space. Many guests who lived nearby the museum would get confused about the church clock sounds because they didn’t match the usual timings of the Hallgrimskirkja tower. We also had specific sound effects coming from each statue like heartbeats. For more pictures and info: https://www.facebook.com/myrkraverk.light.art