This digital light festival, the UK’s biggest, has fast become a much-instagrammed outdoor winter experience and very welcome fiesta to link The Quays‘ public spaces over 10 days each December.
Twelve free luminous experiences this year include some brand new commissions and world premieres with interactivity as their core, making Manchester’s waterfront destination sparkle in all senses of the word.
HYDROZOME by Tom Dekyvere is a network of light-emitting rope descending from the stepped area of MediaCityUK. A microphone will capture sounds from the River Irwell and transform them into lightwaves above the surface in a piece exploring the boundaries between nature, technology and the networks of society.
Slap bang outside The Lowry, poet Jackie Kay and Manchester’s Soup Collective’s 15 metre-long piece “I Forgot” will reveal the last two words “To Say” in varying intensity and colour when you phone it and leave a message. A new poem will also accompany the piece. Warm up indoors at the current humansbeingdigital exhibition.
Back outside, look out for some impressive work from emerging artists to look out for in future years. A live dance performance features projections of digital and physical worlds from Brink Dance Company and Howl Creative, watch your breathing patterns converted into LEDs in KiraZhigalina’s Symbiosis and encounter robots telling stories of people from Salford in Naifei Wu’s Storyteller #2.
“Part video game, part musical instrument”, play with geometric designs to reconfigure some of the iconic buildings at The Quays in Will Hurt’s Abstract Playground AP4. Satisfy those creative juices further at Light Graffiti Workshops where you can create and download your own digital luminary masterpieces.
We love the playfulness and the mad mix of cutting edge and popular culture of Lightwaves – where else might you see an artwork representing digital connections between residents in India and Manchester, alongside Star Trek and Sooty and Sweep figures from the Blackpool Illuminations?
In a group or on your own, Lightwaves is a spot on festival to adventure around – aglow with all the good things.
Lightwaves 2017 will run daily from 12pm-10.30pm.