As the countdown is underway for Durham Lumière’s return, organizers have announced a digital first that will run alongside its schedule of events.
The free festival of light kicks off in Durham on November 18 with a series of illuminated artwork bringing joy after dark to the city’s streets and buildings and the sparkling event is expected to draw the usual crowds. over its four days, with attractions including an ambitious mapped video projection telling the story of time.
But this year, Lumière will also include something for those who can’t make it in person, with the addition of an interactive online treat called Tree of Hope that will continue after the festival ends on November 21.
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The Tree of Hope, created by London-based digital studio Tekja, will debut on November 4, the day before Bonfire Night.
Inspired by Durham’s history as a place of ‘great thinkers’, and its landscape and dark skies, it will invite people – everywhere – to bring their hopes for the future and those who participate in it. will see their contribution help create a work of art in real time, with a slender sapling in line that transforms into a fully formed tree that will flourish with every hope expressed.
The artwork will use algorithms based on collections of messages and algorithms based on geometries found in nature will also be used to generate the branches of the tree.
The hope is that the Tree of Hope platform, with its inspiring messages, becomes a place where people can reflect on what a bright and hopeful future might look like.
Supported by Visit County Durham, this is the first ever digital artwork commissioned by the festival and will open Lumière to people beyond Durham and even across the world.
Lumière, which is commissioned by Durham County Council and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019, is seen as a key part of the council’s bid for UK City of Culture status in 2025.
Helen Marriage, Director and CEO of Artichoke who produces the Lumière Biennale, said: “Our hope is that Tree of Hope will give people who cannot visit Lumière in person the chance to experience and interact with the Light. festival from afar. “
Coun Amanda Hopgood, Head of Durham County Council, said: “Light has always been a showcase for talent, creativity and innovation,” adding that over the past decade the festival has celebrated the County Durham heritage in new and imaginative ways, all using cuts. cutting edge technology to create “awesome experiences”.
“Tree of Hope is another example of Light leading the way and offering people exciting and meaningful ways to engage in art,” she said.
“This is why Lumière is so important to County Durham’s bid to be the UK’s City of Culture in 2025, and why we are incredibly proud to commission it.”
Tickets – which are free – will be needed for downtown attractions, as part of measures to keep the festival as Covid-free as possible. They too will be digital this year and Lumière has yet to announce when they will be available.
Keep an eye on the festival website for updates.
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