“In the arts, we are used to the idea that words, materials or colours are items for playing around with. And in general, from psychology and neuroscience, we are beginning to understand how important play is for human development, not just in childhood but throughout our lifespans.
“In this year’s e-Luminate Cambridge Festival, we want to take what seems like a rare opportunity to consider “the play of light” itself. How can we think about, and use, light’s powers and potentials - in order to unlock an invigorating spirit of playfulness in our lives? And vice versa: how can play bring more illumination to us, in all ways?
“In our opening ceremonies, and in a special one-day event, we will be gathering together makers and experts, in the fields of both light and play. We will have big minds, and challenging artworks, probing huge topics. What role has light played in the evolution of human creativity? Is “enlightenment”, as our metaphor for knowledge, being challenged by “entanglement”, in the era of networks?
“But we will also have wit, humour and hands-on fun. We will explore in depth the famous light-bulb joke, adding to the infinite cast-list of people who are (or aren’t) able to change it. We will explore the games that scientists and artists have played with light (e.g., James Clerk Maxwell’s light-poems, David Hockney’s constant investigations into art and light). And there will be a playful emphasis on interacting, customising and taking sheer pleasure across all our exhibits and performances.
“As poet Marianne Williamson once said, “it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…Your playing small does not serve the world”. Let’s play large at e-Luminate Cambridge this year!”