From idea to installation: Creating outdoor light art with Amalie Solande from Vertigo

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Amalie Solande from Vertigo, a Copenhagen-based audiovisual artist collective, discusses their outdoor light installation, Siro, in this episode. The installation features a circle of large light tubes that change colour when approached by the audience, creating a magical and immersive experience. Amalie also shares insights into the collaborative process at Vertigo and the challenges they faced in creating the installation. Tune in to learn more about their unique approach to blending nature and technology in their art.

Listen to this episode to learn about:

  • The innovative approach Vertigo takes in integrating technology with natural environments
  • The importance of collaboration in tackling both creative and technical challenges
  • Practical insights into the prototyping and execution of site-specific installations

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(1:28) Interactive light installation transforms with audience proximity
(4:09) Unveiling the magic of fairy rings in nature
(5:01) Merging technology with nature
(7:43) Crafting magical light installations for a winter festival
(9:50) Integrating Sketchup and Touchdesigner for visual simulations
(13:16) Diverse skill sets in a creative team
(14:02) Collaborative dynamics in the team
(16:46) Overcoming weather challenges in outdoor light installations
(17:19) Risk assessment
(19:21) Illuminating the wave: a transformative light and sound journey
(20:36) Embracing fun in the challenges of light art

About Vertigo

Established in 2011, Vertigo is a Copenhagen-based audiovisual artist collective known for its inventive light installations, scenographies, and immersive experiences. Vertigo’s work often incorporates elements of nature and technology, creating a magical and contrasting experience for audiences. Vertigo's portfolio includes exhibitions at Copenhagen Contemporary, SNFCC in Athens, Centre Point in London, and many highly prestigious venues. The collective's success can be attributed to its members' unwavering dedication to their craft and shared vision.

Collaborations with the Copenhagen Philharmonics, Den Sorte Skole, Who Killed Bambi, DR Symphonic Orchestra, Lil Lacy, and Hotel Pro Forma have expanded Vertigo's creative horizons. In 2023, the collective earned a Reumert Prize nomination for their work on Sky66en.

Takeaways from this interview with Amalie Solande


SHIRO is a responsive light installation consisting of 48 two-and-a-half-metre tall light-immersed cylinders, placed in a large circle. This creates a magical experience in the middle of a forest.


The inspiration for SHIRO came from the theme of bringing light to the dark winter in Denmark and the natural phenomenon of fairy rings.

We really like the contrast created when having nature with its very soft shapes and colours, and then bringing in something very technical with hard shapes and strong light. This contrast creates something magical that doesn’t appear in the same way when done indoors or in an industrial building - Amalie Solande

Prototyping and problem-solving

Prototyping plays a crucial role in the team’s creative process, allowing them to test and refine their ideas before bringing them to life. They use different approaches and tools for various aspects of installations.

SketchUp is better for figuring out where to place everything and doing the kind of scenography work we do a lot. TouchDesigner is better for visuals, graphics, and the AI side of installations explains  - Amalie Solande.

Risk management

Conducting a risk assessment helps the team prepare for and mitigate potential problems, ensuring smoother execution and fewer surprises during the project.

When it’s an installation that is to run for several weeks, where we won’t be present all the time, it’s very important for us to figure out how we can maintain it and ensure it lasts for the whole period. We also need to plan what we will do if something fails - Amalie Solande


Remember to have fun because sometimes it can get tough when you have to problem-solve or work outside in the cold months. It can take a lot of time, but when it works in the end, it’s all worth it. - Amalie Solande

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