For our seventh edition, artists from home and abroad take you on a journey along 30 light artworks specially created for Amsterdam. The 53-day exhibition revolves around the theme ‘The Medium is the Message’, the famous statement by the Canadian scientist Marshall McLuhan. The role of light in conveying a message and the city of Amsterdam as a medium for telling stories are central to this edition.
The idea behind McLuhan's statement was simple: the medium with which we send a message is at least as important as the message itself. What role does light play as a medium or as a message? More than 600 artists from around the world have looked into this issue and submitted their concept. Ultimately, 30 artworks were selected that will light up the historic city centre of Amsterdam during the festival.
The rich history, unique architecture and extraordinary inhabitants of Amsterdam make the city as a medium very suitable for telling remarkable stories. On behalf of the festival, art historian and chief editor of the magazine Ons Amsterdam Koen Kleijn went in search of these stories and will collect them in a ten-part series.
This year, the famous Amsterdam-based artist Jeroen Henneman is our guest of honour. Henneman, who is particularly known for his sculptures that look like 'standing drawings', develops especially for the festival two artworks and a 'limited edition' will be for sale. Read more
Also this year, 850 pupils from 20 schools across Amsterdam are inspired by the theme. Under the guidance of Japanese artists Nagata and Monno they contribute to a work of art that is included in the exhibition. During the festival, every class enjoys its own exclusive premiere.
For 53 days, the exhibition can be admired by boat, by bike, or on foot. You can do this on your own initiative or by booking a tour with one of the official festival partners.