‘Analema’ is a special art project planned for Barcelona from 16-29 December. A large interactive light and music sculpture created by a group called Glassworks, commissioned by the Sónar Festival, the installation will be in Plaza Universidad during the Barcelona Christmas Festival and is inspired by the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice.
The main exhibition of ‘Analema’ is a huge cylinder made up of LED screens, six metres wide and three metres tall, split into 12 sections that change colours when light shines on them. There are also 12 robotic arms that shine light beams into the sky, making a beautiful light display that can be seen from different parts of the city (also see video below).
The sculpture is interactive and responds to people moving around it. During the day, it collects data on how people move near it and then turns this information into a special light show at night. Each light show is different, based on what happened that day. Music is a big part of the sculpture, and the Catalan singing duo, ‘Tarta Relena’, have created 12 different musical pieces for it, which will play from speakers in the sculpture and change depending on where you are standing in relation to it.
’Tarta Relena’ performed live at the sculpture on the opening night, and will do so again on the winter solstice, 21 December.
Xavier Tribó, the head of Glassworks, said that ‘Analema’ is more than just a sculpture: ‘It’s a project that uses technology to play with light and time. It’s designed to give people different experiences with light and sound, depending on where they are and what time it is.’
The musicians ‘Tarta Relena’ have helped make the sound part of the sculpture. They’re excited to be part of this project, saying it’s a unique experience to mix music with light. Their involvement is all about connecting old winter traditions with modern celebrations.
‘Analema’ will be active from 11am to 11pm every day. People can interact with it until 9pm, influencing the lights and music. Then, from 9pm to 11pm there will be a tall light column shining up into the sky, showing a light show based on the day’s interactions. The name ‘Analema’ comes from the pattern the sun makes in the sky if you watch it from the same place at the same time every day for a year. It looks like a figure eight and is related to how the Earth tilts and moves around the sun.
Apart from ‘Analema’, Sónar is also hosting a free concert by ‘Adelaida’, an electronic music artist, on 23 December. This concert is part of a series of 100 musical events called ‘Sounds of the City’.
Sónar is an art and music festival that started in 1994. It’s known for its electronic music and digital art. Every year, it turns Barcelona into a place where music fans, artists and professionals from all over the world come together to celebrate new music and technology.
Alongside the festival, there’s Sónar+D, a conference about art, science and digital culture. It started in 2013 and brings together artists, tech people, musicians and thinkers to talk about how creativity is changing our world. It’s a place for new ideas and meeting people from different fields.
In short, ‘Analema’ is a mix of art, technology, and community involvement. It’s not just a light show; it’s an experience that lets people interact with art and music in a new way. The project shows how Sónar and Glassworks are pushing the limits of what art and technology can do together.
‘Analema’ is a great addition to Barcelona’s cultural scene, celebrating both the winter solstice and the power of modern art. 16-29 December, Plaza Universidad, Barcelona.
The Sónar Festival will take place in Barcelona from 13-15 June 2024.