Laser Windmills Light Up Night Sky
Two things I love, together at last: wind power and green laser light. Naturally they’ve been united in the Netherlands, home to iconic windmills and free-thinking artists alike.
Dutch designers from Studio Roosegaarde recently unveiled artwork entitled “Windlicht” or “Windlight” on the Eneco wind farm in the coastal town of Sint-Annaland. Thin glowing green lights connect the rotating blades on several turbines. The effect is achieved through tracking software, cameras, and special LED lights, according to the studio.
The team drew inspiration from Kinderdijk, a village known for its windmill system built in 1740. Addressing NIMBY attitudes that persist around green energy, studio founder Daan Roosegaard also wanted to give wind power the allure it deserves, a press release explains.
One onlooker viewing the glowing installation told the studio it looked like “jumping rope with the wind.” Another called it “Kinderdijk 2.0.” Viewers can also tune into a local radio channel and hear more about the piece.
The lights aren’t permanent, though. “Windlicht” was on display over the weekend, and then is set to be aglow on March 18 and 19 from 8 pm to 11 pm, weather permitting. If you can’t make the trip, this video shows the illumination:
Studio Roosegaarde has created other eco-minded installations, including “SolaRoad“ and the stunning “Waterlicht“ virtual flood. This latest piece reminded me of “Nuage Vert,” public art by Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen. The duo projected green laser light onto the cloud emitted by a Helsinki power plant in 2008, and reminded locals to unplug.
Like them, Roosegaarde succeeds in making the invisible visible, reconnecting residents with their landscape. Public art that illuminates overlooked aspects of our lives feels like a special treat to me. And lasers? They’re the icing.