Internal Voices visited the festival and reports on its highlights. We welcome any pictures of your own visit to the Festival, which we will publish here.
What has for a long time been a central point in the annual event calendars of many major cities reached Brussels this weekend. For the first time ever, the Brussels-Capitale region gave illumination artists the opportunity to exhibit their work, assembling an interesting sample range of projections, performance and pyrotechnics.
Approaching the venue from Place Sainctelette, we were greeted by a 20 metre-high reproduction of the leaning tower of Pisa. Italian family business Luminarie de Cagna brought some Tuscan spirit to autumnal Brussels. The wooden structure held thousands of blue, red and green light-emitting diodes (LEDs), giving the tower the look of an Arabian carpet. A warming start to a cold evening. but it was sadly not possible to recreate the classic tourist shot of the original Pisa tower: the replica was simply not high enough to make the inclination perceptible.
Going further along the canal we joined a crowd waiting for a show of British artists Lords of the Lightning, a thrilling demonstration of applied physics. A man completely dressed in chainmail climbed onto what initially appeared to be a simple metal tube, but was is in fact a huge Tesla coil: a large transformer used to create an ultra-high electrical voltage. A few million volts flowed through the artist’s clothing and broke into the cold night air as glaring lightning. A truly electrifying experience – and as long as you stayed from the machine, it remained so only metaphorically.
How about a short trip to the African savannah? Jimundi's “Elephantastic” brought an elephant to the garage next door. Not a real one of course, but the highly realistic audio-visual presentation gave a good impression of the size and illustrious nature of the animal. Its feet stamped heavily on the imaginary plains a few meters above our heads, large ears waving like sails in a storm. With its trunk it filled the whole factory hall with a piercing trumpet sound. All the more impressive for its simplicity.
Next we stopped at Eventattitutes catapult station. What at first glance sounded like a slightly misplaced martial arts training was in fact an elaborate technical set-up. Visitors recorded a short video clip of themselves that was then shot onto a projection wall with the help of a laser-controlled catapult.
To finish our tour of the Brussels Light Festival, we warmed up with a snack at the campfire and barbecue set up at the end of the promenade. The cosy atmosphere of the chandelier tent invited conversation with other visitors, and if they were lucky, they would catch Le Petit Château's firework boat passing by. Assisted by a pyrotechnician, 40 children from one of Brussels' asylum seeker centres prepared an on-board fire spectacle that crossed the length of festival twice each night.
Johannes Uhl is the Intern Life Editor for Internal Voices