Digital outdoor exhibition ‘Lightwaves’ lands in MediaCityUK

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LIGHT installations are set to brighten the early nights of MediaCityUK as Quays Culture return with their most ambitious outdoor exhibition yet, Lightwaves.

The exhibition is to return for 10 days from 8th-17th December, this winter sees Quays Culture put on their varied display, with 12 installations displayed around MediaCity.

One of the most anticipated installations, Tom Dekyvere’s Hydrozome, will find a home quayside near the MediaCityUK metrolink stop, featuring a network of lights that will be connected to the River Irwell, with the hopes of turning sound waves into light waves.

Hydrozome at MediaCityUK

When asked about his latest piece in MediaCity, Mr. Dekyvere was wary but hopeful: “We’re going to put a microphone into the water. Hopefully it works! The sound will be like a digital heartbeat or the pacemaker of the whole installation.”

Belgian-born Mr. Dekyvere has worked across many major cities, bringing his fascinating light installation designs all over Europe and the United States. When asked about his work, Mr. Dekyvere took a moment to ponder what it meant for him.

“What is the work all about? To be honest, sometimes I don’t know myself. I’m just searching for relationships or connections, but also very importantly, disconnections between our natural environment and our digital environment, people and machines, sound and silence, light and shadow. Always these contrasts. On of these pieces we will see at Lightwaves, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

“What is the work all about? To be honest, sometimes I don’t know myself. I’m just searching for relationships or connections, but also very importantly, disconnections.”

Tom Dekyvere

“The title of the work explains the conceptual aspect, as the mixture of ‘hydro’ and ‘rhizome’ leads to hydrozome.

Rhizome is something that happens with roots where they sometimes connect underground with other plants, even sharing nutrition sometimes, which is a very bizarre phenomenon. If you look at that formline and compare it to the digital wave, the 1 and 0, or the way they’re connected online via networks etc., it’s very similar.”

A natural rhizome structure, inspiration of Hydrozome.

Mr. Dekyvere’s interest was not limited to his own installation at Lightwaves, but to other artists’ works too: “An artist called Naifei Wu will be telling the stories of people in Salford through robots. Robotised souls and artificial intelligence is something I very much follow so her work is on the list of things I’m most excited to see.”

Other illuminations will include newly commissioned works such as Quays Culture and Blackpool Illuminations collaborative effort, 100 faces and places of Manchester.

‘100 faces’ is a huge undertaking which asked for publicly submitted photos of people and places across all 10 of Greater Manchester’s boroughs to be curated into a single piece, in an attempt to tell the story of Manchester through its community strength and geographical sites.

Soo, Sooty and Sweep.

Returning popular attractions will also be on show in the form of Sarah Wakeford’s light graffiti workshop, which allows participants to create and download their own images, and Blackpool illuminations showpieces including Sooty, Sweep and Soo along with illuminated Start Trek sculptures.

For more information about QuaysCulture events, you can follow their twitter or visit their website.

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