The Light Nights festival is back on-site for the first time after being canceled for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, St. Petersburg’s largest lighting event will be preceded by the competition where prospective participants will demonstrate their future art projects: fireworks, performances, art objects, and more. Winners of the contest will be announced during the final round in August. 

The ongoing contest is designed not only for practicing artists, designers, multimedia specialists, architects, and engineers. The organizers welcome applications from everyone (up to 35 years old) interested in participating even if they do not have a specialized background.

The Light Nights competition is a traditional event for ITMO’s Master’s students in Lighting Design. Year after year, the university students run their shows and exhibit their works at the festival, with many of them becoming finalists and winners.

“This contest is an excellent chance for our students to put their knowledge to practice and gain first-hand exposure of working in the real world. By taking part in the event, they learn that lighting design is all about evoking the right emotions. They get to see how people perceive light as if it was a theater performance. This is true not only for light shows but also urban environments, interiors, offices – simply everywhere. Thus, it is extremely important to let them know how content can be advanced and how it synchronizes with music, light, and videos. As multimedia is developing rapidly, we can show our students its full spectrum so that anyone could find a niche they’d genuinely enjoy,” comment the teachers of the Lighting Design Master’s program and its head Natalia Bystriantseva.

As noted by its organizers, the festival is meant to support talented young people by giving them an opportunity to develop their projects and present them to field specialists and a wider audience alike. This year’s topic is dialogue, an informative and existential interaction between people as a way to reach mutual understanding. 

“Today’s hyper-technological world turns dialogue into one of the most complex mind games with endless initiation opportunities. Media artists study the relationship between humans and nature, and this competition encourages everyone to speculate on these interactions and related topics, communicate with each other and spectators, as well as focus on hearing each other, no matter the topic,” says the organizers.

The expert board will study all the applications and choose 20 winners (individuals and teams) who will be awarded 100,000 rubles to bring their projects to life. They will be able to finalize their prototypes in workshops of Gatchina’s art residence. 

All participants will be offered free accommodation and food twice a day during the competition (August 15-24). The festival’s organizers also guarantee to cover up to 200,000 rubles of the production costs of their art objects (materials and equipment used) in the final round. The works of the finalists will be shown at the Light Nights festival in Gatchina. 

Apply and learn more about the contest here. The project is supported by the Presidential Foundation for Cultural Initiatives.

Editorial team with information support from CLD ITMO University