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Luminale 2020: Start of the Open Call for Projects at the interface of Light and City. Additional thematic focus: “Digital Romantic”

May 15, 2019

From 12th to 15th March 2020, the Luminale will take place for the tenth time in Frankfurt and Offenbach. And, for the very first time, from Thursday to Sunday, beyond the duration of Light + Building (8th to 13th March 2020), the world's leading trade fair for lighting and building technology. Artists and creative minds are invited to submit their ideas and concepts for the CURATED category by 1st September 2019. The deadline for the STUDY, COMMUNITY and BETTER CITY program sections, however, is 3rd November 2019. 03. November 2019.

As in 2018, patron of the Biennial for Light Art and Urban Design is the Mayor of Frankfurt, Peter Feldmann. “We expect the number of visitors to continue to rise in 2020. Already in 2018, over 250,000 Luminale guests were able to enjoy the innovative and fascinating lighting creations, as well as an exciting program in the festival center. After the terrific event in 2018, we decided to support the committed work of the festival team with additional funds from the tourism levy and thus play our part towards ensuring a successful future for the Biennial for Light Art and Urban Design.” Feldmann went on to say, “The Luminale is of immense importance for Frankfurt. With its popular and, at the same time, artistically high-quality program and intellectual discourse, it makes an important cultural contribution to this city. The commitment of the creative people involved, who, on their own initiative, contribute to the program with their ideas and projects, cannot be overestimated. This makes our Luminale unique even by international standards and we can be proud of this in Frankfurt and Offenbach.”

Luminale Program in five Categories

CURATED combines exceptional light art and theme-specific artistic works. TALK comprises lectures, expert forums and discussions on urban design. STUDY bundles content-related contributions from colleges, universities and other educational institutions. COMMUNITY is open to associations, institutions and creative people from the cities and involves Frankfurt's and Offenbach's residents in shaping the festival itself. BETTER CITY has set itself the goal of presenting at least one project that will remain permanently in Frankfurt or Offenbach beyond the duration of the Luminale.

Further details and all application documents can be found on the festival website:

Thematic focus 2020: “Digital Romantic”

Light and city are the all-embracing themes of the Biennial for Light Art and Urban Design. For 2020, the Luminale offers a further springboard for artistic works with the thematic focus “Digital Romantic”. The question here is: How can digital and romanticism be integrated in the city? How, or where, can a new Romanticism shape the urban space? Participants of all categories are invited to be inspired in the development of their projects and to view the city and its locations with this theme in mind. Consideration of this thematic focus is not mandatory, but is to be understood more as a suggestion or possible catalyst in the concept development.

In 2020, when the Deutsche Romantik-Museum in Frankfurt am Main is due to open, the Luminale is also seeking associations between the Romantic era and the current digital revolution.

Contribution by the City of Frankfurt manifests the significance of the Festival

Messe Frankfurt, which initiated the festival in 2002, is traditionally one of the major supporters of the Luminale. Its continuous support has ensured the work of the project office. Once again, the City of Frankfurt is participating in the Luminale. The Central Office and City Marketing, together with Tourismus+Congress GmbH, will ensure the staging of displays at the Roemerberg, which is again to be a festival highlight in 2020.

In the coming year, Frankfurt and its six its partner cities – Lyon, Milan, Tel Aviv, Budapest, Prague and Leipzig – will be celebrating city partnership anniversaries. On this occasion, the Luminale 2020 would like to manifest this cooperation and make it tangible to the public with a communal project at the Roemer.

“Some challenges we are facing at the Frankfurt Rhine-Main location – digitalization, transport and infrastructure, sustainability and need for skilled labour – and their effects on our lives in the community are issues many regions are dealing with. It is exciting to bring them into focus of the current socio-political debate through with strong images and to support the work of artists. It is also about creating a network that will continue to work together on such topics with a solution-oriented approach,” sais Dr. Bernhard Walther, Chairman of Luminale e.V.

The Luminale is to become more visible internationally

Since 1st January 2019, the Luminale e.V. is an associate member of the “LUCI Association” (Lighting Urban Community International). “The membership is a unique opportunity to benefit from the experience of other members. We can present our activities more broadly and are also be perceived more strongly internationally,” says festival director Isa Rekkab.

The Festival Center and Advisory Board

In 2020 too, the Biennial for Light Art and Urban Design will be a guest at Frankfurt's Instituto Cervantes. Since 2008, the Spanish cultural center has been located in the former Amerika-Haus on the edge of the Rothschildpark not far from the Alte Oper. Its bright, inviting architecture provides the ideal setting for lectures, talks and screenings. Three theme days on light, the city and the future are planned, with a special focus on Digital Romantic”. The festival center is also an ideal meeting place and starting point for a stroll along the Light Walk, which will be further expanded in the coming year due to its success in 2018. An interdisciplinary Advisory Board is again involved in the design of the CURATED program in 2020.

Members of the Advisory Board include: David Brüll, Founder and Festival Director of NODE Forum for Digital Arts, Frankfurt am Main; Philipp Geist, Light artist and artistic director of Lichtkunst Weilheim (Light Art Weilheim);  Markus Haefner, Head of Public Relations for the Institute of City History, Frankfurt am Main; Andrea Juerges, Deputy Director Deutsches Architekturmuseum (German Architecture Museum), Frankfurt am Main; Matthias Wagner K, Director of the Museum of Applied Arts, Frankfurt am Main; Hendrik Wendler, Festival director, Genius Loci, Weimar; Peter Zizka, Designer and artist, Frankfurt am Main und Berlin.

About the Luminale

The Luminale has been held in Frankfurt and Offenbach every two years since 2008. The Festival of Light Art, originally initiated by Messe Frankfurt in close cooperation with the exhibiting Light + Building industry, is now one of the largest cultural events in Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region. As a Biennial for Light Art and Urban Design, since 2018, the Luminale has pursued its goal of creating a popular and high-quality program in terms of both art and content, as well as making a sustainable contribution to urban design. Thus, the city is not only a stage, but a major component of the festival itself. Projects that engage with urban visions of the future at the interfaces of light, architecture, technology, ecology and social interaction in the city, and an accompanying, transdisciplinary dialogue on related issues, make this a tangible experience. The Luminale 2018 presented 150 light productions in Frankfurt and Offenbach and attracted almost 250,000 visitors. The heart of the Luminale in the urban space is the Light Walk. On it, places within walking distance are connected to form a city tour and a public gallery of light art. The Luminale e.V. was founded in June 2017 as a non-profit organization to promote and organize the Luminale as a “Biennial for Light Art and Urban Design”.

Press Contact:

Luminale – Biennale für Lichtkunst und Stadtgestaltung

Katja Gutschmidt
Fon: +49 176-63180803


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