This December and January, the city of Amsterdam will be lit up by artistic installations for Amsterdam Light Festival 2016.

The fifth edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival will see Dutch and international artists contribute light sculptures and illuminated artworks around the Canal Ring, along the River Amstel, and elsewhere across the city.

Light as an art form gives artists new ways of expressing themselves through technology and the LED revolution. The Amsterdam Light Festival has been praised for helping artists develop this relatively young art form. This year 1,800 artists from 93 countries expressed an interest in participating in the festival.

Today I Love You - Massimo Uberti and Marco Pollice

Photo: Today I Love You – Massimo Uberti and Marco Pollice, Amsterdam Light Festival

Light art routes

There are two main routes for visitors to take in light attractions: the Water Colors boat route and the Illuminade walking route, which takes in the Plantage and Weesper neighbourhoods. The artworks will be lit from 17:00 to 23:00 daily.

The theme for Illuminade is biomimicry, a movement that explores how design and technology can improve our lives and the planet. It will be open from 15 December 2016 to 8 January 2017. Larger groups can book a tour guide.

Water Colors is open from 1 December 2016 until 22 January 2017.

Artist Meeting: Amsterdam Light Festival

On 14 December 2016, there will be an Artist Meeting at the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, the city’s much-loved library with stunning views over the city. (Many of Carl Goes Amsterdam’s locals recommend the library as a great spot for coffee and inspiration). The event goes on all afternoon and gives you the chance to meet the artists and the jury members of this year’s event.

Participating artists include Benthem Crouwel Architects, UN Studio/Ben van Berkel, Lydia Fraaije, Victor Engbers, Clay Odom, Anouk Wipprecht, Isabel Nielen (Instituut Lichtontwerpen), Motion Paintings, Ellen Goulmy (Lighting Design Academy).

Highlights: Amsterdam Light Festival Artist Meeting

  • An introduction to the biomimicry theme by Lydia Fraaije from BiomimicryNL, also an Amsterdam Light Festival jury member. The discussion will also involve the Illuminade artists, and will be chaired by Tim Molloy, formerly of London’s Science Museum.
  • A discussion about new developments in creative lighting design by lighting designer Tracy Eck, Water Colors boat route jury member.
  • Architect studios Benthem Crouwel Architects and UNStudio will reveal how they intend on applying the innovations their innovations in future projects.
  • Fashion-Tech designer Anouk Wipprecht will present one of her new designs for a mechatronic dress.
  • A preview of this year’s Illuminade walking route.
  • Artistic Director Rogier van der Heide will pass on his position to Lennart Booij, curator of the Stedelijk Museum.
  • The Call for Concepts 2017 will be opened.

Website: Amsterdam Light Festival


Carl Goes Amsterdam

Carl Goes Amsterdam is the city guide for curious and creative people who want to become a citizen of Amsterdam for the duration of their stay, whether it’s for three days, three weeks or three months. This city guide is full of hidden gems recommended by locals.

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