Eindhoven, the southern Dutch city I now call home, boasts a few major events that are known throughout the country. Dutch Design Week has come and go and the next major event I have been hearing all about is GLOW.
GLOW is a light and color festival held every November in Eindhoven. Hand-picked artists, light designers and sound engineers from Holland and all over the world get to showcase their light art and design applications through the use of technology – computers, sensors, animations, and also projections. Eindhoven is the home of Philips (Bill’s employer), a company that began with the production of incandescent light bulbs. It seems only natural that the city of Eindhoven, affectionately known as the “city of lights” (licthtoren) would be the host of the Dutch light festival.
People from all over Holland and its neighboring countries travel to Eindhoven during GLOW week to wander the city and take in the lights.
I had the opportunity to volunteer as an English tour guide for GLOW 2016 (12 – 19 November) which meant that I learned all about the light installations this year and soaked in all that GLOW had to offer throughout the entire week.
The hype and acclaim of GLOW left me anticipating a spectacular week of art and light. While there were several installations that sparked some interest, many left me disappointed and apathetic. Even the people on my tours seemed a bit underwhelmed and many who have seen GLOW before confirmed that it was better in the years prior. Despite this, even the less interesting installations still made for some intriguing photos.
Exibits at the Van Abbemuseum
Finally, we found GLOW to be a nice event to get out and experience Eindhoven’s unique culture of art, design and technology. Horeca’s, located throughout the GLOW route, offer drinks and snacks. This includes gluhwine (mulled wine) which might offend a wine-connoisseur but also wasn’t too terrible to gulp down to feel warm and fuzzy on a chilly, rainy night. Though I had some negative opinions about my first GLOW experience, reflecting back on it, it’s an event I would not find in my hometown and home country so I am grateful for the fact that I was able to walk outside of my Eindhoven door and experience the lights, music and culture for an entire week.