TU/e @ GLOW, part 1: Lux Agitat Molem

Theme of the ninth edition of GLOW festival in Eindhoven (November 8-15) is ‘City in Motion’. In the same period, Strijp-S hosts GLOW NEXT, showing experimental and innovative light art, including several installations by TU/e. Today: Lux Agitat Molem.

Lux Agitat Molem is the name of a light installation that designer Philip Ross and the Intelligent Lighting Institute will be using for a public experiment during GLOW NEXT. The name was inspired by the TU/e motto ‘Mens agitat molem’: the human mind puts matter in motion. The researchers involved are interested in the influence of light on human behavior, and want visitors to experience that influence during GLOW NEXT.

A total of 56 light fixtures will dynamically light  a 54-meter path along Leidingstraat at Strijp-S, a stone’s throw from Ketelhuisplein. Designer Ross (who received his PhD from Industrial Design in 2008): “We can narrow or widen the path visually, or create absurd light patterns, to test whether or not we can influence people’s walking patterns a little”.

A camera is set up halfway down the path, and registers the visitors’ movements. Using specific software, these images are linked to music, making it seem like the unsuspecting pedestrians are moving to the melody. Those images aren’t revealed to the GLOW visitors until they turn the corner at the end of the path.

If it actually works remains to be seem at the event, says Ross, but he doesn’t believe the experiment will fail easily. Lux Agitat Molem is about the visitors’ experiences: “Dynamic lighting is extraordinary in itself”. Ross considers the scientific aspect of the experiment “a background motivation”.

520,000 people visited GLOW last year. Click here for more information. 

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