the theater of light - conceptual design of land art in the Izera Mountains, Poland

The Theater Of Light

Daylight Investigations

Paweł Białas
Dominik Kowalski
Julia Giżewska

Jerzy Wojewódka

Silesian University of Technology

Eastern Europe and the Middle East

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Artificial light pollution is a huge problem in the modern world. Every day we turn night into a day thanks to technology. But on the other hand, due to it the whole diurnal cycle is disturbed. Which means that humans, animals and plants are deprived of a natural need to exist in darkness, for at least a few hours a day. The main goal of our project is to raise awareness on the subject of artificial light pollution. For our location we chose one of the last darkest places in Europe – Izera Dark Sky Park in Poland. Our idea is to create over a kilometer land art, which gives people the opportunity to observe a slice of the sky as in the theater – theater of light. at the same time, by the scale of solution, it puts us in mind of how small we are… The symbolic circle, which as a shape is often used in planetariums, contains many metaphysical metaphors… Referring to cyclicality, earth, sky or eternal connection. In our project, it is also a reinterpretation of the ancient theater, in which, through the architectural composition, the viewer’s attention was focused on the stage … In the case of our land art, we provoke viewers through a hollow, raw ditch to look at the sky. Due to the rapid development of technology and the expansion of cities, huge demand of artificial light is created. For this reason, artificial light around the world completely absorbs the darkness we need. The presented maps show how this pollution works in Europe, in Poland and in the Izera Mountains. We can easily see that the place that we have chosen for our manifesto is one of the last dark places in Europe located in the Izera Mountains. Where is also a place of Polish-Czech cross-border Izera Dark Sky Park. For years artificial light has been polluting our atmosphere – that is why we wanted to create something which will admire not only natural darkness beauty but also the daylight changing through the day. Humans need to appreciate small lights on the celestial sphere above us – stars, Milky Way the same as the beauty of winter sunrise. We wanted to show that darkness is the same component of the natural environment as the air, soil, water and rocks… Our project is a direct reference to an ancient theater in which the viewer experiences different types of scenes and emotions, which culminate in the expected catharsis. Comparing the diversity of this process, we have created the hollow circle which will allow viewers to observe different pieces of the sky, let them find their own slice. Just like in art, the best way to see and feel something is to create a bond between viewer and the piece of art, which in this case is the all-embracing sky. A long wooden bench leads to the theater circle which is a kind of guidance that allows us to stop at every moment of the road and admire the beautiful light scattering around us. We wanted our project to be only a background for light, a tool to observe it, a quiet place for rest and concentration. The theater of light teaches sensitivity to seemingly imperceptible…