Lightwave Festival opens in Dublin today


A SEISMIC kaleidoscope, a lesson in time travel and a chance to remake Galileo’s telescope are among the offerings at the Lightwave Festival, which opens at the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin today.

“Light is so essential in our lives, we tend to take it for granted,” Science Gallery director Michael John Gorman said before the launch of the nine-day festival, which includes talks, workshops, performances and an exhibition.

“The idea behind the festival is to bring artists, scientist engineers and philosophers together around light,” explained Science Gallery education and outreach manager Lynn Scarff.

Most of the 15 exhibits have an interactive element, Ms Scarff said, adding that the artists, who come from all over the world, will be on hand to explain them.

In “Kosmoscope”, visitors will be able to go inside a kaleidoscope which uses the Earth’s seismic movement to create patterns. In “Beacon”, emergency lights will follow visitors around the room, while the communication of an electronic fish will be turned into light and sound in an exhibit by a Belgian scientist.

Last night the front arch of Trinity College was lit up by a group of “light guerrillas” to launch the festival. Tonight, Temple Bar, the Docklands and Smithfield will also be spontaneously lit by the “guerrillas”.

Participants at a workshop next Thursday will be able to build a working replica of Galileo’s telescope, which they will be able to use in Phoenix Park afterwards, Ms Scarff explained. A soldering party tomorrow will reveal how to build working electric circuits from basic to large-scale LED installations.

A seminar on time travel by Princeton astrophysicist Richard Gott on January 31st is among almost a dozen talks from artists and scientists. Another highlight is a talk next Wednesday on research into helping blind people to “see and feel with their ears”.

The world launch of a prototype to produce fuel cell lighting for Africa using rotting fruit will take place next Friday.

10,000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid, a show which explores the formation of the universe, takes place tonight and is among the many evening shows and performances at the gallery.

The exhibition is open from 4pm until 9pm every day except Mondays until February 20th, and admission is free. Talks, shows and workshops run until January 31st with prices ranging from free to €15. Further information can be found on