.PSLAB and “Streetlights” Shines in Berlin

One of my favorite lighting design firms, .PSLAB out of Beirut (and Stuttgart now too!), had an excellent installation last month in Berlin that needs some attention!  .PSLAB has had lots of projects covered here on JimOnLight.com, frankly because they have a lot of awesome projects!  This new one is no exception.  It debuted in Berlin last month at the Qubique Next-Generation Tradeshow – which, may I add, looks amazing!  Before we get to the .PSLAB exhibit at Qubique, just check out this short video on the Qubique show itself.  Amazing!

Right?! I wanna go do more German tradeshows!  Qubique was held in an old Berlin airport that stopped being an airport in 2008 – Berlin Templehof.  .PSLAB’s exhibit was installed in the airport as a part of a centerpiece/gathering place.

Check out .PSLAB’s “Streetlights” exhibit that took place at Qubique – Streetlights is an exhibit made from…  oh heck, from the PSLAB information on Streetlights, they tell it better than me!  It’s interesting, this Streetlights exhibit – actually debuted a little while ago with a project done with Dos Architects in London.  The original:

The ‘Streetlights’ installation is made of 220 vintage car headlamps suspended to the ceiling and giving a sense of floating. For the Qubique site, the linearity of the space was emphasised by the hanging fixture. The vast 15 metre ceiling height was counteracted by dropping the fixture to 3.5 metres above the ground, creating an intimate meeting place around the brasserie bar. The steel pipes that make up the grid were placed at intervals, two or three pipes separated by gaps, in order to let the installation form a certain rhythm while creating a second ceiling layer in the bar area. 

From the .PSLAB documentation on the installation – a bit of a site map:

Ok.  It’s cool – check it:

I love your work, .PSLAB!

Oklahoma City National Memorial at Night – A Photo Tour

This has to be said – if you want to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the best time to get the best experience is after the Sun sets.

For almost 1.25 years now I have lived directly across the street from the Oklahoma City National Memorial – the site of the Murrah Building bombing by now dead bad guy Timothy McVeigh.  I have watched people go in and out of this site, at all times of day or night (I myself have been there at 3:45am and 1am, as I don’t sleep much), in all kinds of weather.  The memorial is incredible pretty much any time I set my eyes on it.

During the day, the sun plays on the shapes and structures made by the memorial chairs, and the trees take care of giving the entire site a nice textured light to soften the reality of why the site is there.  At night though, the Memorial grounds are transformed; there is no longer a need to see everything.  The soft light and the directional path on which your eye is taken leads to the most pertinent areas of the memorial, from the field of empty chairs at night, each with an illuminated lower section, to the Survivor Tree, where you are given yet another view of the field of chairs.  To me, I feel the most solemn when visiting the memorial at night.  Obviously though, I’m a lighting designer, and I could find the emotion in a stray beam of light that came from some intergalactic star burp.

Just as a quick spatial guide, as you are at the memorial, if you enter and are standing looking with the chairs on the left or right, you are looking down Fifth Street.  FIfth used to run continuously between Classen and I-235, but the Memorial now sits at the spot of the bombing.  The chairs you will see are located where the building used to sit, and the chairs represent people killed in the explosion.  To be quite honest, I don’t know if you’re supposed to go onto the grassy area where the chairs are, but I just had to be close enough to pay my respects to the victims.  I also went at night though, I didn’t want to cause a bother.

Here are the chairs and the grounds from the building directly across the street from where the Murrah Building once stood:

You’ll notice in the image above that there are two arches that stop Fifth Street – one that says 9:01, and the other that says 9:03.  These are the Gates of Time.  At the eastern most side of the Memorial is 9:01 – the minute before the bombing, where life as we knew it was one way.  The bombing occurred at 9:02am, which is represented by the large reflecting pool and I believe the Memorial itself.  9:03, at the western most end of the Memorial, is where we now know life to be – after the bombing, after the death, after the bomber’s death.

Here’s the same view from my apartment, but in the evening:

What a beautiful memorial – you must commend the designers of this memorial, Hans and Torrey Butzer and Sven Berg, for their wonderful use of the night and the light in their design.

Below is a Gallery View of the photos – if you click on any one thumbnail, it will open the series in Gallery format for your enjoyment!  I have given each titles and some descriptions to give you bearing as you navigate through the set.

Thank you so much to the Oklahoma City National Memorial website and Wikipedia.

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Isabelle Hayeur’s “Fire with Fire” Installation

Have you seen Isabelle Hayeur’s video installation called “Fire with Fire?” Check out this video:

This is pretty awesome! As Make Magazine puts it, and in the words of Mark Frauenfelder, “I think people who enjoy getting mad will enjoy getting mad” at this art installation by Isabelle Hayeur.

From Isabelle Hayeur’s site on Fire with Fire:


3 channels video installation.
Video projection of 15 minutes playing in continuous loop.
3 Blu-ray players, 3 video projectors.

112 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.

Fire with Fire has been commissioned by
The Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.
Curator : Marlene Madison.

The Downtown Eastside is the oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver; it is also the most run-down. This historic area is infamous for being plagued by social problems due to poverty. Before falling prey to serious urban decay, it has known brighter days, and was even the city’s business hub until the 1980s. Derelict for over twenty years, in more recent ones, it has started to be sought after again. The Downtown Eastside is undergoing a major mutation —witness the newly renovated buildings and the constructions sites that now dot the area.

The coming of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games is accelerating the Downtown Eastside’s transformation by heightening real estate speculation and gentrification; new condo towers and big box stores are appearing. The revamping of the neighbourhood seems more responsive to the expectations of people who are better-off. Tensions between real estate developers and members of the community are palpable, with fears of a form of implicit “social cleansing”.

It is striking that the history of the Downtown Eastside began in destruction and disappearance. In 1886, soon after the city was incorporated, the Great Vancouver Fire swept down on the neighbourhood and razed almost all of it to the ground. The video installation Fire with Fire recalls this troubled period of Vancouver’s history. It also alludes to the neighbourhood’s present conditions by reminding us that many lives have been consumed there, worn down by years of homelessness, drug use, street prostitution, and violence.

Awesome.

Uppsala, Sweden – Projection Mapping

My good friend Gustavo Vasquez from Mexico City (and currently, Stockholm, Sweden – finishing his Master’s at KTH) sent me this unbelievably cool video of some architectural projection mapping in Uppsala, during the Lighting Festival that occurs in Uppsala, Sweden.

On the video:

“Uppsala castle courtyard is the place where past and future meet. With the help of today’s technology transforms the facade for something completely different. We asked the graphic artist Andrew Cutting Berg trying to get a part of the palace facade to release its centuries of history and for a moment transformed during the long, dark month of November .
The technology used is liquid-cooled encapsulated projectors on either 10 000 ansilumen mounted in heated sheds from Ramirent.

Stage Technologies AVL AB – idea, project management and project supplier
Grafala – animations
Ramirent – delivered the sheds

Happy Monday, folks!

Let This Bell Tower Rock Your Face

Good morning, everybody!

I woke up this morning before the sun’s alarm went off, and the lights of the city were still gleaming beautifully.  It put me in such an amazing mood.  I hope that I can pass some of this great mood onto you all this morning!

Here’s a start – check out this clock tower, smack in the center of Prague, that just celebrated its 600th birthday.  Mapping company Macula mapped the clock with animations, while sound company Data-Live created the soundscape.  Tomato Production handled all of the site’s production needs.  Prepare to get rocked.

The 600 Years from the macula on Vimeo.

.PSLAB Beirut and MYBAR

Wow, good morning world.  I have to apologize for the last week of relative dead space – I put in about 90 hours last week and toured my design of The Light in the Piazza to a theatre in Arkansas.  It’s been a crazy week!

But to welcome the little bit of sanity I am holding onto right now, I want to post about a new project that PSLAB in Beirut has done.  I got this from my pal Ramsey at the .PSLAB Beirut offices – I have to say that any time I get info from .PSLAB, I have been so impressed.  I get a lot of images from lighting firms all over the world, and .PSLAB produces some of my favorite works.  Their designs are just so worldly and original.

Check out the design for MYBAR, a new bar/restaurant in Beirut.  Some info from .PSLAB:

A bar/restaurant whose space is functionally divided into 3 areas; an entrance corridor, a drinking area, and a dining area. The entrance corridor leads to the drinking area which is separated from the dining area by an irregular shaped staircase extending from a rugged wall starting at the end of the corridor.

We used a line of uplights to light the entrance pathway and connect it to the drinking area.
The uplights continue parallel to the rugged wall and stairs producing a play of shadows created by the different layers in the wall.
The drinking area features floor to ceiling poles carrying small cups’ stands.
To accentuate the curvature of these poles, we set downlights at the top end of each creating a vertical beam of light detached from the rod.

The dining area is characterized by visible white ducts covering the ceiling and maintained over a two-level bar connecting the dining area to the drinking area. The furniture layout in this area follows the layout of those ducts.
We chose to use the visible ducts in order to create a lighting system unifying the two main sections of the space (drinking/dining). Hence, we developed lighting fixtures in white finish, fixed to the ceiling on the sides of the ducts. To have a rectangular horizontal beam of light centered over the tables, a gap created by the circular opening of the duct defines the shapes of the objects.
Continuing over the bar, the light objects are set on one side of the duct and in opposite directions in order to light the path behind the bar. Similarly for the sushi bar in the other end of the space.

Click on each of the images, they open into a gallery!

Beautiful.

Architainment in The Ukraine (Kharkov, to Be Exact)

One of the coolest people I know on the web, Mark Couvillion, sent me a link to this great video of some projected architainment in Kharkov, Ukraine.  Mark is one of the creators of the 20×2 Festival I participated in this year at SXSWi in Austin, and a helluva dude.

Thanks for the video, Mark – extremely awesome architainment projections!

Glowcamp!

Have you all heard about Glowcamp?  20 or so people have written telling me about this event in NYC.  From the Glowcamp website:

GlowCamp is a free one-day intensive exploration of light as an aesthetic material. We’re sharing the ideas and technologies used to work with light, and we’re inviting you to come speak about your expertise, demo your projects, ask questions, and find new people to collaborate with. Whether you’re a light artist, a theatrical or architectural lighting designer, a fixture designer, a maker, or a DIYer, you’re welcome and encouraged to attend.

I’m not gonna say much about this right now until I get more details.  Check out the website, now!

The Rise of LX Injected, The Centre for Social Innovation, and the Party to End All Parties

I am kinda loving life.  A lot.  This last week, a new venture that I started with Amanda Lynne Ballard got its wings and took off – LX Injected.

What does LX Injected do?  We create large scale light art.  We also aim to change the world through light.

Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation just bought a new building in which to create and innovate, and they threw a monster party in said building.  The Party to End All Parties was on Friday of this last week, and people did much rejoicing.  LX Injected was asked to come and turn the space into a work of art in which people could come together and have a blast.

Enjoyment was what we aimed for, and that’s what happened.  We also got to work with some amazing people (Tonya and Colleen, you both rock) and we were fortunate enough to be able to light up a massive, open, and beautiful space.

Check out some images from the evening, courtesy of Amanda Lynne – and also check out the Centre for Social Innovation’s website.  They’re doing really freaking cool stuff.  Life changing stuff.  You might be asking yourself what exactly – so here’s a blurb from the Centre’s website:

The Centre for Social Innovation is a dynamic space in downtown Toronto, Canada. Our mission is to spark and support new ideas that are tackling the social, environmental, economic and cultural challenges we face today. We’re creating the spaces that social innovation needs to thrive and we’re contributing a few of our own ideas along the way!

Cool.  What an amazingly guerrilla and fun design.  I really enjoyed this project!  Support the life changers, use your brains like you’re a ninja!

The first set of images here are of the initial site visit walkthrough with the lovely miss Colleen Diamond.  We chatted about the feel and purpose of the space, and how we could pull some good ol’ urban planning magic to turn our space into a “place.”  Colleen was also quoted during that meeting as saying “nerd is the new passion.”  We love you, Colleen!

After building some very simple fixtures, shopping some fixtures, and purchasing the right lamps (we went mostly 50W PAR20 halogen narrow floods and some 500W wash units for color and splash), we had the evening the night before to get into the space at dusk for hang and focus.

The space before the install:

Natural and fluorescent light

Windows

The Install Night

After the evening before spent building fixtures and wiring them up, the next evening before the actual event we had the space to play, experiment on the various surfaces with light, and get everything rigged and working.  It was an amazing evening, and that warehouse came alive!

Essentially, the design went for motion.  We accented the things we felt were important, created two separate saturated blue areas on contrasting sides of the space for people to be able to “cool off,” if you will from the white light shining on the walls.  With the brick walls themselves we chose to angle the spots grazing the walls to also create an implied motion around the space.  The space around the “bar” created in the venue was a great feeling for us – we lit the glasses and bar surface at a low angle, and through the windows of the space we were able to illuminate the faded but yet still amazing Coca-Cola logo on the side of the adjacent building.

The Bar and the Coke Logo

The Party

The evening was outstanding.  Great people, everyone having fun, people playing in the shadows we created, and people making their own shadows.  Amazing, fun, and I would do it again in a second.  Check out some pics from the party evening, and then below everything is a gallery of all of the shots.  Enjoy!

The gallery of images from the process:

All photos on this page are protected under an Attribution-NonCommercial-No-Derivitives license.  You can repost the photos and content as long as you give attribution to JimOnLight.com and LX Injected.  Photographer credit, unless otherwise noted, is Amanda Lynne Ballard.

Let’s Play CHECK IN with JimOnLight.com in Canada!

I’m in Toronto right now.  Next week I’ll be in Phoenix for a week long show run.  The week after that?  I have no idea.  Let me check my calendar.

So, for those of you who were at the Broadway Lighting Master Classes this year, sorry I missed you!  I wasn’t able to attend this year because of a gig I have in Toronto right now, but I hear I missed some fun partying in the Big Apple!

Let’s see:

I’m lighting up the inside of an excellent space in downtown Toronto this week for the Centre for Social Innovation, who just bought a building!  I’m partnered in a company with everybody’s favorite lumen hunter, Amanda Lynne Ballard, called LX Injected – we’ve started up this venture to bring light art on a large scale to the world.  One of our upcoming projects is the Centre’s new building – LX Injected is lighting up the inside of one of the floors for a gathering this evening, and we’re happy with the product we made last night!  I’ll post lots of pictures after the event is over this weekend.  We’re extremely excited to help out the Centre for Social Innovation and bring some lovely lux to their new digs!

Most of all, I just wanted to check in with the world.  I hope everyone is having an excellent week, a wonderful summer and end to the school year, and enjoyable production and design experiences!  Get out there and light up the darkness!