big lovers day

Light on the IJ

2008 — 2012. The IJ, Amsterdam

‘A Statue of Liberty, an Eiffel Tower – Amsterdam deserves a sculpture of such a stature!’ 

This thought was flashing through my mind when I decided to participate in Light on the IJ*, an initiative of five light artists who want to make the IJ a new, internationally renowned entertainment venue in Amsterdam. During an art manifestation in 2012, we presented our ideas in the Muziekgebouw at the IJ. My contribution consisted out of The Lovers, Small Clouds, Mega Cubes.

The Lovers

The IJ hides two important infrastructural connections between the centre of Amsterdam and northern Amsterdam: the metro tunnel and the IJ-tunnel. On the surface these connections have become/remained invisible. The Lovers do change this. It is an old story: a boy falls in love with a girl on the other side. But they cannot get to each other… These two lovers, full of desire for each other, reach out and send each other a signal by way of high power leds.

Small Clouds

The small neon clouds are flat and that makes it possible for the wind to play with the clouds (as modern wind vanes). These clouds shed small tears of led light in the darkness of the night. Most interesting about these small clouds is that they indicate the wind direction as well. The size varies from 2 x 1m to 25 x 18m. The biggest cloud is projected onto the Shell-building and the smaller clouds are projected on both sides to higher buildings on both banks of the IJ. The clouds are made of steel and are framed by neon. Within the cloud you see how leds shed their tears. A bearing ensures that the clouds are able to turn. 

Mega Cubes

Amsterdam’s Central Station orients itself to-wards the old city. Unaware visitors do not realize that there is a fantastic waterway. In order to make a connection, among other things, at the side of the Damrak a leg of a giant cube stretches into the air, with a height of 500m. A leg of two cubes which could become the magnificent landmark of the city of Amsterdam and a tourist attraction of high standing, as is the Eiffel Tower for Paris and the Statue of Liberty for New York. The legs of the cube with a connected lift bring you from one side of the IJ to the other and offer a fascinating view over the North Sea till the IJsselmeer. Since it is such a big work of art, it goes without saying that a competent engineering bureau must be involved in the realization of this project.

* In Dutch the digraph ‘ij’ is phonetically one letter and should be thought of as ‘y’.

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