City Sleep Light
Antoine Schmitt, 2010
City Sleep Light is an artwork that makes the radical move of transforming a whole building into the sleep light of the city, akin to the sleep light of a computer. All the lights of the building pulse together : seen from far away, the whole building behaves like a single white light slowly pulsating with an organic rhythm. It can be seen from very far, even from outer-space. This giant sleep light starts when night falls and the city’s activity slows down. It is the sleep light of the city.
Like animals sleep brainwaves, the City Pulse rhythm and dynamics is slightly different every night, because it is sensitive to the current spirits of the city, perceived through various socio-economic markers.
Abstracting the concept of Nicolas Schoeffer’s cybernetic towers, City Sleep Light acknowledges the city as a very large system, but here the huge urban organism is sleeping. Through the sole presence of the pulsating sleep light, thanks precisely to the actual absence of any superfluous arbitrary visual effect or data representation, it confronts the spectator to the potential complexity and power of the city when it wakes up.
Its organic pulse also creates an emotional link by connecting the inhabitants with the city’s sleep, triggering feelings of peacefulness, empathy and belonging. But as often in my artworks, it is not innocuous and eventually questions the people about their role and responsibility within this complex system.
Physically, City Sleep Light can be created using various technologies, like LED-equipped facades and building, light or LED projectors, videoprojectors, etc… In any case, the light is synchronized on the City Pulse, which is available through internet and is also visible live inside a browser, so that anyone at home or abroad, on his iPhone or her Android, can connect to it and pulsesynchronously with the city’s sleep.
The City Pulse never stops and the City Sleep Light is its manifestation.