Three people sit on a bench, completely immersed in their cell phones, ignoring each other’s presence. It’s an all too common scene, but this time what we’re looking at isn’t a real-life experience, but a clever piece of art. As part of the Amsterdam Light Festival, brand design agency Design Bridge created the thought-provoking installation Absorbed by Light.
This sculpture is the creative brainchild of Senior Designer Gali Lucas, who was inspired by the juxtaposition of the connection and disconnection modern technology causes. “In winter, when it gets dark so early, you see people all around the city illuminated by the light of their mobile phones,” Lucas tells My Modern Met. “In parks, cafes—even on their bikes. It’s quite eerie. This light that rules our lives is sometimes our only means of connection, yet it also isolates us completely. It detaches us from the real world.”
To bring her vision to life, Lucas—who normally works in 2D—collaborated with Berlin-based sculptor Karoline Hinz. Once the work was shipped to Amsterdam and assembled, Absorbed by Light came to life. As a commentary on the effects of technology on our daily lives, the piece sends a powerful message and asks us to reflect on our own habits.
The artwork itself remains rather neutral, not pushing a positive or negative view on the subject, but rather reflecting a true to life situation. It’s up to us, as the viewers, to decide our own interpretation. As people interact with the sculpture by sitting and taking their own photos, Lucas hopes to spark a dialogue about the role technology plays in our social interactions. “I’m not trying to send a specific message of change people’s behavior—I just hope they think objectively about the white light of technology and the role it plays in their lives. It’s more of an observation—I just hope it gets people talking.”