Fairy tale tourism: the architectural projection mapping of magically real and irreal festival lightscapes

Lovell, J. and Griffin, H. (2018) Fairy tale tourism: the architectural projection mapping of magically real and irreal festival lightscapes. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events. ISSN 1940-7963.

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Light, whether candle, match, fire, torch, gas or electric, disrupts the way we perceive spatiality at night. In recent years, ‘Lumière’ festivals, such as the Fête des Lumières in Lyon and Lumiere in Durham have become established spectacles, with many cities and heritage sites attracting large audiences and temporarily gentrifying places such as the Thornton Housing Estate in Hull.

The light installations use the technique of projection-mapping to trace and reinvent architecture. Projection-mapping constructs illusions; windows spin, stone liquifies, and reality wobbles. Torre (2015) argues that architecture ‘concretizes’ animation, giving depth to two-dimensional images and the effects could be defined as ‘irreal’ (Rescher, 2003), lacking specificity and materiality. Performances are augmented by atavistic fairy tale hyperreality; shining a magic lantern onto local folklore and myths; giant silhouettes dancing across monumental city walls, forests reclaiming castles and familiar buildings developing a life of their own. These affective, magically real lightscapes (dis)embody the spatial creativity, fluidity, and poetics inherent in the work of Bachelard (1994) and Massey (1995); enacting shadow-play theatre on a non-human scale for residents and fairy tale tourists.

Light shows can be vertiginous. The immovable moves, the inanimate is animated and the viewer switches on the ‘illuminated gaze’ (Lovell, 2018, adapted from Urry, 2002), leading to sensations of wonder, the uncanny and communitas; social barriers dissolving with physical structures. The presentation uses case studies of different events staged and visited by the authors and discussions with lighting designers to illustrate how projection-mapped light installations briefly conjure, disrupt and deceive with magical reality, the darkness returning when the fairy-tale ends.
Read more at https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/cgi/users/home?screen=EPrint%3A%3AView&eprintid=17310#HqjvOPtOJiS533Lh.99

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper was presented at the following conference: Authenticity in the Age of Post-Truth at Canterbury Christ Church University on 19th June 2018.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Irreal; magically real; fairy tale; lumiere; light festival; projection mapping
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BQ Buddhism > BQ4911 Practice of Buddhism. Forms of worship > BQ5725 Folklore
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G0149 Travel. Voyages and travels (General) > G0155 Tourism
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Human and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Jane Lovell
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2018 10:03
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2019 11:15
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17709

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00