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LUCI and 3 member cities launch new EU project on permanent light art

Earlier this year, LUCI and three of its city members launched a new European project called Light & Art in Public Spaces (LAiPS). This exciting new venture, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme, will see LUCI and the cities of Lyon (France), Oulu (Finland) and Turin (Italy) explore the role of permanent light art installations in curating lively urban public spaces, as the partners aim to strengthen city capacities on these issues.

Traditional creative architectural illuminations, illuminated statues, light art projections, permanent original light art installations: Light art has become increasingly popular in cities across Europe and the world. As Thierry Marsick, Director of Urban Lighting for the City of Lyon (France), explains, using light art allows a city to work on topics such as nighttime experience or city identity: “Thinking differently about light, through a more poetic and sensitive approach, allows us to transform our view of the night. This creative light thus patiently builds a unique nocturnal landscape and a strong identity for the territory.

Creative light patiently builds a unique nocturnal landscape and a strong identity for the territory.

Thierry Marsick, City of Lyon (France)

In its early stages, the field of light art is evolving rapidly. Technological progress in lighting materials and techniques, especially improvements in LED technologies, have made this type of art more accessible to artists and a popular tool for cities to use in their public art and urban lighting strategies.

Light artworks are an important part of a city’s cultural scene, an asset to be protected, promoted, and shared across Europe,” explains Jessica Ferey, Programme Manager at LUCI Association in charge of the LAiPS project. “The increasing popularity of light art in public spaces combined with rapid evolutions in lighting technologies also means that there is a need to strengthen capacities for cities: this is why we launched the Light & Art in Public Spaces project.

Two action strands to structure the partners’ collaboration

The LAiPS project will involve cultural operators, planners, artists, designers, engineers and other professionals from the three partner cities. Two action strands will structure the partners’ collaboration.

First, the partners will set up a Light & Art Lab. This platform will strengthen capacities of the cultural operators through in-depth site visits to partner cities: participants will experience all facets of planning, managing and maintaining light art within a city’s strategy. In addition, the visits will provide case studies and best practices to capitalise and drive new experiences on various areas of the light art field.
The first Lab visit will be held in Turin, later this year. The City of Turin team will welcome project partners in November to learn about the permanent light art works created as part of the Luci d’Artista festival.

Second, the LAiPS partners will develop together a new innovative tool to digitize this unique kind of cultural content, raising awareness about its existence and making it more accessible to a wider audience. “The city of Oulu is pleased to be involved in the development of a new web application with the LUCI network,” says Olli Rantala, TechArt Project Manager, for the City of Oulu (Finland). “We aim to bring the light art from Oulu and around the world together to one easily accessible digital platform to be enjoyed by professionals, travelers and locals.

We will create an easily accessible digital platform to bring light art from Oulu and around the world together.

Olli Rantala, City of Oulu (Finland)

The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission “Cities having to rebound from severe social consequences of the current COVID crisis can find in light art a new policy toolbox. The fact that the EU has shown interest in this LAiPS project and agreed to co-fund it is a testimony to that,” says Mark Burton-Page, LUCI General Director.

Learn more about the project 👇