Pose for photographers as if you were a celebrity. Don’t be startled by the bomb that seems to hit the boat at any moment. Admire the giant blue butterflies floating above the surface of the canal. Cruise past the car that appears to slowly sink into the water. Although these sightings may seem real at first, it turns out to be an illusion. Artists from all over the world have designed light art pieces that, after sunset, appear so real that you have to take another look. The twelfth edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival will take place from November 30th, 2023 to January 21st, 2024.
What is the Amsterdam Light Festival?
For years, the Light Festival has been taking place in Amsterdam. During a visit to the festival, you will literally and figuratively see Amsterdam in a different light. International as well as Dutch artists design light artworks specifically for this occasion that fit within the theme. These artworks are placed in various locations in Amsterdam or incorporated into something else.
All editions have a theme that the artists must adhere to. In 2015, nature inspirations were displayed, in 2017 there were artworks that had to convey the message of light, and this year’s theme is ‘DISRUPT!’. This theme can be interpreted in various ways. Some artists see chaos in it, while others see change. For example, this year’s displayed Big Bang, a blue-lit bomb, is a good example of chaos. But the design by EON SLD, Korean light advertisements from the 1950s, shows change.
In this 12th year, speculation is still ongoing about what the theme will be. For this purpose, they invite creative minds during the so-called Call for Concepts. Anyone can submit a light artwork idea. Do you have an idea? Then submit your idea here.
Amsterdam Light Festival 2023-2024
The twelfth edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival will take place from November 30th, 2023 to January 21st, 2024. During this time, around twenty light artworks will illuminate the center of Amsterdam, forming a route along and on the canals. Visitors can experience the festival through various boat or walking tours. Tickets will be available for purchase from October 2023.
The theme for this edition is the effect of technology and artificial intelligence on our daily lives, such as how we communicate, engage, and create. The impact of technology and AI on our humanity will be explored through various perspectives, with artworks created by selected artists. The official title of the edition has not yet been announced.
Theme Amsterdam Light Festival 2023-2024: LOADING… Revealing Art, AI and Tech.
For Amsterdam Light Festival 2023-2024, artists have been asked to contemplate the impact of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) on our everyday lives, under the theme “LOADING… Revealing Art, AI and Tech.” How we communicate, connect, and create is all influenced by technology and AI. What is the impact of this on our human existence? How is society changing due to this digital evolution? And where do the boundaries lie?
Edition 12 illuminates different perspectives with over twenty light art installations by international artists, ranging from renowned names to emerging talents. The festival explores our relationship with personal tech, self-learning algorithms, facial recognition, motion capture, and more. What lies ahead? That’s still loading… Subscribe to the newsletter and follow us on social media for more insights into the theme and the festival.
The last version of The Light Festival
After 53 days, the lights of Edition 11 are officially turned off. After two years, the festival could take place ‘as usual’, with experiences from both water and land. During the dark winter months, 20 light artworks illuminated the residents and visitors of Amsterdam. The works, made by national and international artists, were created around the theme Imagine Beyond.
From the Light Gate (Edwin Baruch, US), visitors entered the world of imagination, after which they could admire the rest of the artworks on foot or from a boat. Public favorite Sign (Vendel & De Wolf, NL) was the most photographed by visitors, but more subtle works, such as Scala a Pioli (Massimo Uberti, IT) and Fireflies (Studio Toer, NL), also elicited many oohs and aahs.