The Staro Riga International Light Festival will be taking place for the twelfth time now, from 15th to 18th November. This year, the theme will be 4D or the four dimensions of light art – time, space, the person and light, which the artists at the festival have interpreted, each according to their own creative plan.
A large variety of forms of light art are represented at the festival, from relatively standard objects right up to generative art. In total, 35 light art objects, which are divided into two programmes will be on view at the festival this year. The objects for the festival’s basic programme were selected through a competition between artists, while the second programme was created by Staro Rīga partners and includes 13 objects.
Artists from six countries – Latvia, Estonia, Denmark, Germany, France and Great Britain are participating at this year’s festival to celebrate the nation’s birthday in Riga. The most striking artistic trends this time are the laser projections and a creative type of interactivity, expressed in various forms of light art. The placement of the objects will be quite intensive and easily accessible, located mainly in the Old Town and Riga’s centre, but three festival objects, equally worthy of viewing will also be located a little further from the central part of the city at Riga International Airport, the Latvian Academy of Sport Education and at Agenskalns Market.
There will also be a special events programme at the festival for the first time. Here you will be able to view internationally famous legendary British multi-media artist Brian Eno’s installation 77 Million Paintings at Riga Art Space or visit popular Latvian pop singer Aminata’s new mini-album presentation in the square by the Latvian National Opera. A light installation which has been created, inspired by her music, will be located here throughout the festival. The traditional Staro Riga Festival Run will also be taking place, with participant registration on the starorigaskrejiens.lv. homepage.
“Light festivals and light art in an urban environment are a relatively new art genre, which have introduced diverse forms of expression in quite a brief period – video projections, free-standing environmental installations, as well as interactive light objects which festival viewers can create and improve using a variety of technologies and the virtual environment,” says Staro Rīga Artistic Director Diāna Čivle. “The light festival transforms the city into a huge exhibition hall where you can enjoy large-scale art objects created by light artists while you walk. They can be found on building facades, monuments, on footpaths, in parks, in trees and even on bodies of water.”
“The uncertainty of the global era and over-production of information generates impulses for the exploration of other or different dimensions and new algorithms, heading into a virtual network and broadened reality, crossing boundaries in the great flow of data,” is how she comments, specifically on the theme of this year’s festival. “In offering their light objects for the Staro Riga Festival, light artists were invited to define the four dimensions of their light object. This broad theme can be interpreted freely, both from the perspective of science, as well as delving into philosophical studies, which lead beyond the horizon of actual experience, questioning everything which seems irrational in a field of limited knowledge and in a zone of traditional, stereotypical assumptions.”
Further information about the festival can be found on this home page. An information centre will be operating next to the Laima Clock during Staro Rīga, while a festival mobile application will be available for downloading at App Store and Google Play. Special trading kiosks, where hot drinks, snacks and light festival paraphernalia will be available for purchase, will be operating in the city.
The objects will be on view from 5pm till 11pm during all four days of the festival.
The festival is being organized by the Riga City Council, the Riga City Council’s Education, Culture and Sports Department and the Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council together with Staro Rīga programme partners – the State Chancellery, the R of L Saeima, the Ministry of Defence, the Embassy to the Federal Republic of Germany in Riga, the State Education Development Agency, the Freeport of Riga Authority, Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns Law Offices, Omniva Ltd., the Latvian Academy of Sport Education, JSC Latvenergo, Riga International Airport and UNTITLED originals.