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light art

This Neon Light Installation Is Like an Interactive Stonehenge

Amsterdam’s Circus Family brings 'TRIPH,' an immersive and responsive light installation, to Northside Festival.
TRIPH Installation at the Northside Festival, photo courtesy of Circus Family​

Last week, Northside Festival unveiled an entirely new sector of the festival, which until this year had revolved around music and celebrating Brooklyn's je ne sais quoi. This new element was entitled "Innovation," and—plot twist—all of the events in this division were somehow connected to creativity aimed at the future. Artists, journalists, filmmakers, politicians and all those in between could be found dotting the ballrooms and presentation spaces of various BK hotels and hotspots, including the Williamsburg, Wythe William Vale hotels, the Brooklyn Brewery, and McCarren Park. Within one of these spaces, conversations about diversity in the media, the future of virtual reality, and how women are shaking things up were complemented by a trippy new art installation, called TRIPH, put on by Amsterdam's Circus Family.


TRIPH Installation feeling blue at the Northside Festival, photo courtesy of Circus Family

The installation was housed in the bottom floor of the Williamsburg Hotel, just behind the TNT content stage. Oddly shaped and teeming with neon-hued, programmable LED light, this immersive light experience was added to the Northside Festival after it was created as part of the art program at this year's SXSW. A modular design, the pieces that comprise the setup are all rearrangeable, and so displayed according to the space it is inhabiting. In the case of Northside, several structures laid flat on the ground, while others stood upright, angled and somewhat off-kilter. There were also mirrors, which reflected neon lights programmed on "a loop that would change every few seconds" with varying degrees of color and brightness.

TRIPH Installation from above at the Northside Festival, photo courtesy of Circus Family.

Usually TRIPH contains sound as well, but given that a presentation stage shared the space at Northside, this setup was sound-free. The installation is designed to change for and because of the viewer, depending on where they are standing and the specific layout of the installation. When no one is around, the lights glaze over, almost "as if the object is asleep," its creators say. When approached, however, the entire piece illuminates and pulsates according to the viewer's movement and positioning.

Designed as a kind of audience-invitation for not only participation but for becoming an element of the piece, TRIPH by Circus Family is a bursting construct that illuminates the surrounding area, and piques the interest of almost everyone who enters the room. Touch, move, or simply stand and watch: the pulsating pinks, blues and purples are mesmerizing from every angle, and at every turn.


TRIPH Installation in full bloom at the Northside Festival, photo courtesy of Circus Family.

TRIPH was created by Circus Family as part of the art program at SXSW, and was installed during all three days of the Innovation sector at the Northside Festival (June 7–9, 2017).


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