Once again Hamburg’s harbour will be ablaze with blue light. From the 1st to 10th of September Blue Port Hamburg is being held and turns the harbour, as well as Hamburg’s landmarks – such as Elbphilharmonie and Speicherstadt – into a bright blue artwork.
Light artist Michael Batz is the initiator and creative super-mind of Blue Port Hamburg. In 2008, he staged his Blue Port Concept for the first time at the first Hamburg Cruise Days Festival. Since then the spectacle is taking place every two years.
The light art project is highlighting transformations of the harbour district. Predominantly linked with logistics, trade and industry, the area is turning into a multifaceted, urban space with room for housing areas and cultural events. The great deal of change is best seen in landmarks like the ever changing Speicherstadt, the maritime museums, the HafenCity and last but not least the Elbphilharmonie.
Light is used to graphically sculpture and create images, to gently illuminate them and use reflection as a stylistic device. Interestingly, most of the lights used for the art project are already there. 75 percent of the illumination is regular street lights, ship lamps and operating lamps that are integrated into the project with help of blue filters, films and coloured bulbs. Only 25 percent are additional blue fluorescent tubes and LEDs. For around 5 weeks the team around Michael Batz is rigging up, using approximately 2.000 LED lamps and installing 50 km of cable.
Blue Port starts on September 1st with a light-up ceremony and each following day the installation will extend a little further out into the harbour so that dozens of illuminated buildings, bridges and objects along the waterfront gradually merge and form a single, unforgettable artwork. Grand finale is taking place during the Hamburg Cruise Days from 8th until 10th of September, when numerous prestigious cruise-liners come into port.