SPEED OF LIGHT
SPEED OF LIGHT is a scale model of the solar system at 1:270.000.000. On this scale, the sun is 5 m in diameter, and the earth, 555m away only 4.5 cm. The moon is a tiny 1.3 cm sphere just 1.3 m away away from earth.
The light of the sun has to travel 8:20 min to reach the earth. On this scale model, if you walk exactly at 4KM/h it will take you 8:20 min to complete the 555m walk. You will be walking “at the speed of light”.
SPEED OF LIGHT is a travelling installation that could be hosted on festivals acting as a stage for various performance interventions. It was first realised for the Amsterdam Lightfestival from December 21st 2016 to January 21st 2017.
In these collages SPEED OF LIGHT is imagined to be exhibited in the gardens of Versailles, where the distance between the Apollo fountain, at the end of La grande perspective, is (coincidentally) exactly 555m away from the fountain of Latonne, the mother of Apollo and Artemis.
Apollo, the Sun God, prominently represented in the palace of the Roi Soleil is rising with his sun chariot out of the dark waters at the end of “La grande perspective”. The earth would perfectly fit in the palm of Latonne’s hand, 555m away, at the foor tof the palace. The moon, just 1.3 m away in the same fountain stands next to Artemis, godess of the moon, and is slowly circling around the earth. Both small spheres are lit from the inside to shine bright at night.
This could be part of a winter exhibit in the gardens, since the project needs the cover of night to be able to be fully visible. It would function as a stage, or scenography for performances and music and theater that would use this mythological planetarium as their stage.
SPEED OF LIGHT was originally concieved for a natural environment and working as a stage for vasious forms of performance interventions, as in these visualisations for the OEROL theater festival on Terschelling, the Netherlands.
The project finally found a host in the Amsterdam Light Festival and was realised in 2016.
On December 21st SOL became the stage for a great Parade, organised in collaboration with Pretvormer and 6 schools in the surrounding area. With this Parade the project really realized its true vocation: Becoming a mythological celebration ritual resembling pre-Christian winter solstice light festivals or the Indian Diwali festival. Here our modern scientific cosmology is "Mythologized" and experienced as an initiation ritual. We exit our world and encounter our true origin and our true nature: the stars, as places where all matter of future planets and life is formed.
The often distant and factual scientific descriptions of reality are now experienced individually and can reach a deeper emotional ground. In this way science can access our collective subconscious to become part our modern story. The “us” here is not just the people of the world but the entire universe.