Freiham illuminata // Luce del respiro

Olaf Nicolai, Lichtplanung: Daniel Slota & Jan Dinnebier


öffentlich zugänglich

Bildungscampus & Sportpark in Freiham, Bodenseestraße 400, 81249 München


Architecture: Bildungscampus: Schürmann Dettinger Architekten mit Auer Weber (Campusmitte), München / Architektur Sportpark: Georg Scheel Wetzel Architekten, Berlin

Landscape architecture: Freianlagen Bildungscampus und öffentliche Grünfläche: Keller Damm Kollegen Landschaftsarchitekten Stadtplaner, München / Freianlagen Sportpark und öffentliche Grünfläche: Lützow 7 Müller Wehberg Landschaftsarchitekten, Berlin

Photos: Florian Holzherr (und Video)

Text: Bernhart Schwenk

In the evenings, anyone walking in, or even simply crossing, the parks on the Freiham campus and sports facilities experiences something that cannot be experienced anywhere else. The artificial lighting is not static – it changes. Subtly, barely noticeably, the brightness and the temperature of the lights alter. Over a longer period of time, the lighting swells, pulsates, and subsides at a slow rate. In this way, very different moods and atmospheric qualities are created in the parks at shorter and longer intervals.

How does it work? Are the lights along the edges of the pathways in contact with each other? Or are they reacting to living creatures – animal or human – moving through the parks, alone or in groups, jogging, on a bike, or with a dog? Regardless, the park seems lively. It gives the impression that the darkness is breathing.

This is precisely the basic idea behind the work of light art conceived by the artist Olaf Nicolai and specially constructed for this site in cooperation with the lighting designers Daniel Slota and Jan Dinnebier. “Freiham illuminata // Luce del respiro” presents the two parks in Freiham as a single organism. The Italian title (meaning “Illuminated Freiham // Breathing Light” in English) already indicates that the installation is directly linked to the residents of this quarter of the city.

In fact, the lighting composition stems from the processing of the data created in Freiham – the data that the quarter itself “writes,” in a way. The data comes from individual places like local motion detectors and temperature curves, as well as the number of residents or newly registered cars in Freiham. A computer program is fed all of this data, as if it were a living creature being fed nutrients. What happens with these “nutrients,” however, and what kind of detailed energetic impact they have, remain deliberately open-ended. Because as unmistakable as the recorded data is, it is not obviously recognizable in the resulting work of art.

When fed brand new, current data, the programming creates novel combinations of light effects, intensities, and rhythms, whose sequences continue independently, similar to the way that the new quarter is developing. The inhabitants of Freiham, like other people, experience themselves as part of a complex, astounding system made up of countless simultaneous processes, which are, in turn, influenced by numerous other factors. It is impossible to calculate or predict where each development will lead and how it will affect individuals. “Freiham illuminata // Luce del respiro” is a work of art that invites you to perceive this inexplicable whole in a poetic way.