Follow The Light
Is it really that time again?
LightNight is one of the most special dates in Liverpool’s calendar. A one night, free “culture crawl” where the city’s museums, art galleries and iconic buildings open their doors until late while arts and culture spills onto the city’s streets. In 2017, LightNight Liverpool takes place on Friday 19th May. Over 900 artists are involved, with over 100 events for all ages and more than 100 arts organisations taking part, can you believe it? We’ve picked some of the events we think you shouldn’t miss.
Where the Time Goes
LJMU John Foster Garden, 17:00 – 23:00
But seriously, where does the time go? Musician and composer Jonathan Raisin creates a sound installation in a secret garden in the heart of Liverpool. With specially written words and music from hidden speakers, it will be a long poem, a meditation to reflect on time, change and what remains the same. Jonathan Raisin has made a series of site-specific pieces, including Sea Breeze at Morecambe’s Winter Gardens, and is currently creating a work mapping the city of Liverpool.
St George’s Hall, 17:30 – 21:00
Liverpool-based collective Friend or Foe create a music performance within an interactive light installation, written and directed specifically in response to the historical space of the catacombs beneath St George’s Hall. The world’s first air conditioning system, this vast cellular stretch of arched corridors operates as the breathing lungs of the building. These will be brought to life using directional sound and light to continually shift spatial perception, with each bulb controlled to react to both sounds and actions of the performance as you walk through the dark passageways. Each performance lasts 30 minutes.
Northern Lights, 17:00 – 23:00
At one of Liverpool’s newest creative spaces in the Baltic Triangle, explore Northern Lights amidst a unique spectacle and experience with a mindful candle-lit labyrinth walk set amidst the expansive space of Solstice. Artist Alex Irving, supported by LJMU Screen School mixes light with choral and meditative audio.
The Handless Project / re-awakening of Unity Theatre
Hope Place and Unity Theatre, 18:30 – 23:00
Unity Theatre re-opens on LightNight following a £845,000 redevelopment. An evening of performances celebrating 50 years of poetry anthology The Mersey Sound will follow but first, the building needs to be re-awakened. The Handless Project is a 24-hour ritual journey around Liverpool by artist Aleasha Chaunte. Inspired by the fairy tale ‘The Handless Maiden’, the journey is inspired by the personal stories of people living and working in Liverpool. At 18:30 the Unity building will be ceremonially ‘awakened’ followed by an installation and performed mediation on the stages of sleep.
LJMU John Lennon Building, 18:00 – 23:00
In a new commission, artists Logan & Wilcox create a new large-scale work that builds on previous experiment ‘neu collective consciousness’ on LightNight 2016. Through greater mental effort participants were able to manipulate the audio-visual environment and in Zugzwang (A situation in chess when the obligation to make a move in one’s turn is a serious, often decisive, disadvantage) multiple users will have a degree of passive authorship; blurring the roles of artist and audience. The focus of this experiment will be how participants can act as ‘conductors’ and influence the biometric data generated by the other participants in the system.
What if we could remake time?
Liverpool Town Hall, 18:00 – 21:00
In this talk, philosopher Dr. Michelle Bastian (Edinburgh College of Art) discusses clock-time and its possibilities for being redesigned. Exploring examples of how artists, activists and designers have remade the clock, she asks whether clock-making could be opened up to non-experts and used to explore the conflicting times of our everyday lives. What kind of time would you want a clock to tell? Dr. Bastian’s talk will be followed by a special guest panel discussion and an audience Q&A.
Ropewalks Square, 21:00 – 23:00
A collaboration between sound artist Bill Thompson and dance artist Saffy Setohy, Light Field invites people to both become and activate the installation. Lo-fi kinetically powered sound and light objects create a field of gently glowing beacons, controlled by choreography and movement. The sound score will be made of the sound of light and Natural Radio to complete what promises to be a stunning visual performance as the light fades.
Same as we Ever Were
Albert Dock, 17:00 – 20:00
Liverpool’s waterfront will be the stage for Merseyside Dance Initiative (MDI’s) experiential outdoor performance with community groups and professional dance artists. Working with five community groups and with performers aged 1-75, movement material changes and manifests itself throughout this experiential performance as the dance passes from group to group. Performers change and mature as the evening passes, leading us through memories and experience on a trail through Albert Dock.
LightNight After Party: Time Capsule
Constellations, 22:00 – 02:30
Keep your LightNight going into the early hours! A live future-Polaroid / AV installation meets club project, presented by artist Sam Wiehl and soundtracked by the indomitable Andy Votel (Finders Keepers). Enter Constellations via the Time Capsule scanning booth and see your image evolve into a digital memory bank played out across a bespoke AV installation, degrading and morphing during the course of the show. Finish off your festival with this hedonistic horological mash-up; a fitting soiree to bring down the curtain on an incredible evening. Early bird tickets are available now at lightnightliverpool.co.uk
Victoria Gallery and Museum, 21.00 – midnight
Coinciding with the exhibition of Liverpool born artist John Higgins, who found global success as a comic book artist and writer for 2000AD, DC and Marvel, see the famous red brick VG&M like you’ve never seen it before. In a specially commissioned installation, the clock tower plays host to a giant Dredd, and his army, who will oversee the creation of a mutant ‘Cursed Earth’ dandelion. Dandelions have long been a way to tell the time of day by blowing away the seeds, and this time it will be no different. Help bring the dandelion to life.
The full festival line up is available at www.lightnightliverpool.co.uk
The printed LightNight Festival Guide is on sale now for £3 and features full listings, a cultural diary for the rest of the year and in-depth articles about commissions and other cultural events taking place this year. The LightNight Guide has been produced in collaboration with local publisher Wordscapes.