December 15th, 2009

People interested in visiting Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Games will have an added incentive to explore the city during the two weeks of athletic competition. In celebration of the Olympic games, the city of Vancouver will welcome Vectorial Elevation, a large-scale interactive light installation created by Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.  The work, which has been previously staged in Spain, Ireland, France and Mexico, features twenty 10,000-watt searchlights which move in concert to create a silent, shifting canopy of light. Vectorial Elevation is  one of the world’s largest interactive artworks.

Vectorial elevation, 2003


Citizens from around the world can visit to design a sequence of movement for the searchlights. The tools on the site will allow users to time the movements of the lights, and to select the different arcs and angles that the searchlights will move in as they travel across the night sky.  Designers will also be able to dedicate their presentation to a friend or loved one.  It is estimated that more than 130,000 different light patterns will be created by visitors to the website during the 24 day period that the installation operates.


As for the logistics of the project, the lights will be set up in locations in Vanier Park and Sunset Beach, covering an area of 100,000 square meters. This orientation will allow the light display to be localized in the patch of sky just over the waters of the English Bay. February’s display will mark the first time the installation is staged on Canadian soil, and will be the first time it has ever been staged over a body of water.   This adds an extra special bit of intrigue and excitement since the effect of this awning of light reflecting off the still, clear waters of the Bay promises to be pretty spectacular.  At this time officials are anticipating that the light patterns will be visible to viewers within fifteen miles of downtown Vancouver, spanning all the way to the peaks of the Cypress and Grouse mountains.

Vectorial Elevation, Dublin

Beginning February 4th the lights will go on each night at dusk and create silent moving patterns over the waters of the English Bay, until dawn.  For those who will not be fortunate enough to be in Vancouver to see the spectacle in person, there will be a live webcast of the project allowing anyone in the world to watch the lights glide across the sky from the comfort of their laptop.


Vectorial Elevation is being co-commissioned by the City of Vancouver’s Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program and Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

1 Response
  1. [...] including “Vectorial Vancouver” by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, which we posted about back in January. Rounding out the visual art and film contributions are a number of inventive, experimental and [...]

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