Luminapolis: Juergen Meier, October 9th is a historical day in german history. The day of the demonstration in Leipzig that makes the wall to fall down. Last year you started a very special light festival in Leipzig as a memorial event. Can you explain the main idea of this festival in a few words?
Juergen Meier: Central theme of the Leipzig Lightfestival 2009 was the occupancy of the Leipzig urban space by it’s citizens in the autumn 1989. The visitor to the festival followed the route of the demonstration in 1989 in which 70.000 people took part. Twenty art installations transformed the memory of this event into a contemporary statement and turned the centre of the city into a temporary work of art.
Luminapolis: For me this festival shows the social function of lights as a media to build a community. A festival that involves the artists as well as the public. After the big success of 2009 what is the concept in this year?
Juergen Meier: From 2010 until 2013 the Leipzig Festival of Light will take place on the Augustusplatz. In 2014 it again will be extended to the inner ring. This year we will perform a sound-, light- and video installation using classical and contemporary music as well as laser and videoprojection. We are then going to look at the European dimension of the peacefull revolution and start by focusing on Poland in 2011.
Luminapolis: What are your personal experiences with light? How did you come in contact with professional lighting?
Juergen Meier: I studied art in Münster and London and startet my first media projects in the early 90ies. All works such as the mobiles from 1992 or the mediafacades from 1998 involved actions and reactions of the viewer. Light has turned out to be the constituting element in all of my projects. Light is a medium for communication on the receptionist side and also a craft on the production side.
Luminapolis: What is the most important project you realized in the last ten years?
Juergen Meier: „KLT 14“ is an installation in the German city of Bochum, which I completed last year. It sets standards for the use of interactive technology in urban space: a camera sensoric counts the users of the subway Wittener Straße at Bochums main train station and displays the total amount on digital counters at the entrances to the subway. User profiles are translated into light szenarios, which are constantly updated by the sensoric system.
Luminapolis: What do you think are the challenges for professional lighting designers in the near future?
Juergen Meier: Light and video are following convergent trends and will unite in the near future. This means cultural, social and political tasks will be central for lighting designers and communication and participation will be the mayor aim of public lighting.
Luminapolis: What is your next project?
Juergen Meier: I am looking forward to finishing the project „Modellprojekt Innerer Ring, Leipzig“ next year, focussing on intelligent lighting for the inner city of Leipzig. I am also looking forward to the realisation of Lichtschwarm lights, a concept which I startet in 2005 and adresses the communication between luminaires by means of light.
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