The image shows a model of the light fixtures from the side going towards the pillars to animate matrices. Photo:

It’s forbidden for boats to go under a specific low bridge in the middle of Stockholm; Centralbron. Because of all the rain, the water is high at this season and the cold water hides many currents. Adding the December darkness, it might not seem like a nice place to be at, but it is. This environment is perfect for an illuminating installation during a light festival.

Nobel Week Lights is a free festival lighting up Stockholm 2-10 December 16.00-22.00. It is presented by the Nobel Prize Museum and the public light installations illuminate the Nobel Prize laureates’ scientific discoveries, literature, and peace work. Among international and local artists, designers, and students, WASP is represented through the group; re|thread, who contributes with an art installation for Nobel Week Lights for the fourth time. Every year they do something different and site specific. This year’s contribution from re|thread, named [re|in]verse, is located close to the main attraction of the Nobel Week Light.

“It’s an interesting location on the part where the bridge is over the water because of a lot of concrete pillars there. We’re going to put mirrors on the pillars inside the water and we’ll have light fixtures under the bridge on the shore. Then we will have this light installation that plays with the reflection of the water in all the currents,” says Benoit Baudry, WASP Professor in Software Technology, about the light art his colleagues in the collective re|thread is creating this year.

“Basically, all the Nobel laureates in science use computers and software to run their experiments, do simulations, analyze, and search large amount of data. It’s a lot of math, a lot of computation and software, and deep inside there are matrices” says Benoit Baudry.

In addition to light, the group have added audio based on data computations; sound patterns to further help grasping the nature of the data. To simplify, the art work [re|in]verse with its lights, movements over the water and sound effects, shows what happens inside a computer that is doing the math for science; unravelling the layers of the core matrix operations.

“Even though you don’t see it, the software inside your phone is as big and as marvelous as space. That’s a feeling we’re trying to convey to help making sense of how software works. “

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Published: December 4th, 2023

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