Floating Bridge – Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Light Festival

  This is the third edition of the winter light festival for young and old. For more than fifty days, the historical center of Amsterdam will be the unique décor for this international festival. The third edition of the festival will take place from 27 November 2014 to 18 January 2015. banner cidade The Amsterdam Light Festival is the result of a joint venture between the cultural institutions, the municipality, knowledge institutes and businesses in Amsterdam.  It is unprecedented that so many parties of all sorts have made such a huge joint effort to make this festival happen and to reinforce the qualities of Amsterdam. (source: amsterdam official website )  

Floating Bridge

Amsterdam has more than 1,700 official bridges. This number excludes private bridges; bridges managed by the Rijkswaterstaat and Dutch railway; scaffolding bridges and recreational bridges; as well as the more than 1,400 bridges and viaducts that aren’t numbered. So one more bridge isn’t a problem, especially when it’s a beautiful one like Floating Bridge, a copy of a curved lattice that lights up in different colors. Creator Leandro Mendes, better known as the Brazilian VJ Vigas, sees Amsterdam’s bridges as being similar to the organic connections that exist between the cells of the nervous system. They provide the city with valuable energy, and passing through by boat is just as exhilarating. vj vigas   Floating Bridge is the visual accumulation of the energy of the city. It doesn’t just resemble a dozen stacked and lit Amsterdam bridges but its shape is based on concentric half circles that form Amsterdam’s famous canals. According to its creators, this bridge of light is more than an architectural masterpiece. It’s a way to get people out of the constant turmoil of their thoughts and visual impressions, and offer them a contemplative and reflective experience in return. It’s simple: envision yourself as a package of energy and let yourself be carried away in this stream of light. (source: Floating Bridge official website )  

Floating Bridge Assembly - Step by step

To made this concept possible  , Leandro called Junior Costa Carvalho from Sala 28  to help to develop and Cadu (me!)  to help to install and configure the system who can afford the idea. us Pieces from China , pieces from Brasil , pieces from Netherlands  , all assembled in the middle of cold harbor of Amsterdam!
  Digital Led Strips is chosen because with this kind of Leds , it is possible to to address each light, allowing not only the color and intensity , but also the creation of patterns for each line of strip.
To suport 21 Led strips , the crew from Amsterdam Light Festival constructed one huge structure made by Aluminum , covered with plastic tubes :
 

Pixel Pusher

One of the most innovative idea of this project is working with Digital Leds instead of traditional non addressable Led Strips and DMX. Because of extreme conditions ( the installation is on a float bridge in the middle of Amsterdam Channel ) , we search for one solution who can be done without many components. All system must be safe from humidity and be placed into one small box . The pixel pusher is the solution for made the system compact and cheap . The most impressive feature is the possibility to control 480 pixels per channel ( each PP have 8 ) . We did 21 arches  , and all pixels are controlled by PP using one tailor made program by Quartz Composer and Processing.
  Finally after 10 days of working with rain , low temperature and some few hours of daylight we did it!   Floating Bridge