The 7th Circle of Light Moscow International Festival will be held between 23 and 27 September. Large-scaled video projections and installations will be displayed at several city venues. Admittance to all shows is free.
Ostankino: Sahara and lavender fields
The Circle of Light Festival will open at 8 pm on 23 September. The musical and multimedia show will be performed on Ostankino Pond and Tower. The same will take place the next day.
Audiences will visit various countries. With pyrotechnics, they will see lavender fields in France, US Yellowstone National Park and the Reed Flute Cave in China, then move on to Niagara Falls, the Sahara Desert, Lake Baikal and proceed to the Ural Mountains.
The performance will conclude with a 15-minute long show, when the Ostankino TV Tower will morph into television towers in Tokyo, Toronto, Shanghai, then Dubai’s Burj Khalifa as well as the Eiffel Tower. The video projections will be 330 metres high.
Teatralnaya Square: Art Vision and past centuries
The venue will include two buildings: the Bolshoi and Maly theatres. During the festival, a thematic light show will be screened there, such as Celestial Mechanics (on love and loneliness) and Timeless (sketches based on works by Russian playwrights). Finalists of the Art Vision International Contest will also present their creations.
How do 2D and 3D projections interact on facades? Which discoveries were made in this sphere? Art Vision finalists will answer these questions and many others as well. The façade of the Bolshoi Theatre will serve as a screen for the classical video mapping category, and the Maly Theatre for the modern one.
Tsaritsyno: A water orchestra and the Palace of Feelings
The Palace of Feelings show will be presented on the façade of the Big Palace. The building will become alive with a unique blend of light and music plus it will serve as the background for a performance of Mikhail Turetsky’s Soprano group uniting various female singers, with a vast range of voices, from coloratura to mezzo soprano. On all days, except the first, the Soprano’s audiotapes will be played and on 25 September, Dmitry Malikov will visit Tsaritsyno to give a recital of famous classical piano works. They will be translated into visual images. This is the first time such an experiment takes place at the Circle of Light Festival.
A fountain show will take place on Tsaritsyno Pond: the fountains, accompanied by music from works by Russian composers, will transform into a water orchestra. Park visitors will see original installations from leading light designers from all across the world.
Digital October: Robots and maths
Light artists and CG specialists will convene at Digital October Centre. On 23 and 24 September, it will also host discussions, lectures and seminars.
During the discussion “When will robots replace designers?” representatives from IT companies will speak about the advantages and threats new technology holds for creative specialists. Will they replace the artist or give them new opportunities?
At the lecture “Full-dome revolution” Portuguese media artist Pedro Zaz will tell the story of the 360-degree dome projection and virtual reality. He will also discuss the issue of using AR technology in modern art.
Media artist and programmer Ilya Derzayev will hold a workshop “Touchdesigner: Basic maths”. Is it true that maths never helps you? Programmes do everything for people even in CG design. How difficult it is, in fact? It turns out that complicated visual projections can be created with high-school knowledge.
The lecture “From phantasmagoria to sensor reality” will be conducted by Olga Mink from the Netherlands, VJ and curator of many festivals. She will speak about artists working on the edge of technology, optical illusions, sound, performance plus cinema. She will explain the connection between science and art.
Graphic and motion designer Ivan Gorokhov will give a presentation “Videomapping: Visual appeal and efficacy,” which includes not just aesthetic points, but technical nuances and issues. He will speak on what to do with them and how to solve technical problems.
The full schedule is available on the festival’s website.
Mir Concert Hall: Music battle and VJ sets
This venue will host the Art Vision VJing contest. The best teams will present their 10-minute-long VJ sets. Participants will create their own masterpieces using visual images and videos, accompanied by music. Potential visitors can register here.
Strogino: Japanese fireworks and unique pictures
The festival will close on 27 September in Stroginskaya Poima with a 30-minute long Japanese pyrotechnical show. Hundreds of fireworks will blast into the air from four barges. The largest ones are of 600-mm calibre. It is the first time there will be such a show in Russia. The fireworks will reach a height of 500 metres; the diametre of light domes will be about 240 metres. Every shot has a special trajectory and a unique picture. The venue has been chosen most carefully: Stroginskaya Poima is the safest place for the show and can also host almost 300,000 people.
Japan produces unique fireworks: brighter than anywhere else in the world.
Records and achievements
In 2015 and 2016 the festival made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the largest video projection, and last year for the most powerful lighting. This time Daniel Thomas, president of the World Federation of Great Towers, is planning to award Moscow Mayor with a prize for his contribution in forming the cultural and tourist image of the world’s great towers. The list only includes towers with viewpoints, such as Guangzhou Tower in China, Empire State Building in the US, Torre de Collserola in Spain, Ostankino television tower and others.
The festival has taken place since 2011, and during these years the number of visitors has increased from 200,000 to over 6 million last year, where 100,000 are foreign tourists.