At the Amsterdam Light Festival in winter 2017/2018 the light installation ‘Make a Splash’ by Floriaan Ganzevoort was on display in the city centre of Amsterdam.
This artwork is a framed, big shiny sphere, hanging in the sky. The sphere is lit brightly and is pulsating, as if it were a man-made sun. At an unexpected moment it falls from the sky into the water. When it hits the water, not only does it make a big splash and concentric circles in the water, it also triggers an explosive, almost aggressive shockwave of stroboscopic lights. At first one can see the water droplets ‘frozen’ in mid-air, because the movement of the water is stroboscopically lit. Then the light slowly starts to relax more and more, and slower waves and ripples become visible, until the sphere rises into the dark sky and lights it again.
At first sight, this work seems simple: the sun, facilitator of all life, falls from the sky. It causes a chaos, that slowly smooth out.
First the object (the sphere) is shown and then the effect it causes (the splash). The object thus proofs its own existence, its realness. The form of the sphere, the ripples, the placement of the light and the sequence connect to the theme as well. Each of these form a circle. When you break the circle (the sphere disappears from view for a short moment), an existential crisis is around the corner.
The light is key in this artwork. It gives life to the sphere with a warm and pulsating sequence. It gives a clue about the manufactured nature of the sphere and is the harbinger of calamity. The stroboscopic lights that follow the splash, break the water into particles and makes a translation in opposing rhythms, mimicking the geometrical patterns of the growing water circles. The intensity of the lights gives a certain violence to the event.