You might not have heard but the United Nations has proclaimed the year 2015 as the International Year of Light. Light is used in art, in science, in health, in nature, at home, and just about everywhere else. Light is so pervasive that we hardly ever stop to think about it. This is the case even though energy shortages may become a serious problem in the not so distant future. What better place to highlight this issue than a light festival where the city’s beauty and power of innovation are literally illuminated, albeit in the most sustainable manner.

This winter, a spectacular, futuristic-looking landscape arises from the Herengracht. Arborescence looks like a crossing between a system of advanced streetlights and the porous stems of a mystical mangrove forest teeming with fireflies and glowworms. The elements float on pontoons on the water’s surface and are illuminated from below by way of sensor-equipped LED lights that react to the movements of the water.

Is this what the near future looks like? It could be. Arborescence is the visualization of an idea, the application of new technological possibilities in regards to energy use, packaged in an appealing setting of a set of trees, which are among the main energy suppliers of mankind.

facts about the artwork

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