14. Feb 2017

“Light Pollination” digital light artwork at the London Design Festival 2016

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: Amandine Alessandra

Many will remember the scene in the epic historical drama film “Gladiator” when General Maximus Decimus Meridius strides through a cornfield towards his wife and son, his hand gently stroking the corn stalks as they blow in the wind – a monumental soundtrack running in the background. For sure, this is just one association of many that the light art installation entitled “Light Pollination” can give rise to. And yet the artwork itself appears to seek its true origins in nature.

This is exactly what lends the light art piece developed and realised by the team of digital artists from Universal Assembly Unit its unique quality: “Light Pollination” is a small-scale, modern interactive masterpiece of digital light art. The reasons for creating and exhibiting such an artwork during the London Design Festival in September 2016 date back to ideas on and around the topic of how digital media can impact the potential use of light in the urban realm. The artwork was commissioned by iGuzzini, who are currently researching the potential of larger responsive lighting applications in the built environment. In a nutshell: state-of-the-art high-tech processes with emotional appeal. And yet, as a light art installation, “Light Pollination” clearly refers to nature. Even its name is an indication of that. The surface comprises row upon row of optical fibres sourced by LEDs. The artwork is further dotted with hidden sensors, so-called pollination points, to enable interaction. Depending on the intensity of the incident light, for example from smartphones, parts of the artwork respond with growing bands of light, which expand progressively into wider and faster light bursts. This creates a pollinating effect across the artwork, completely transforming its landscape and impact on all present. The surface bristles, waving in the wind like the cornfield in the “Gladiator” film, inspiring the onlooker to discover associations for himself and become part of the scene developing before his eyes.

Commissioned by: iGuzzini UK

Design and installation: Universal Assembly Unit



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