Light is one of the key elements in “setting the mood”—turn it down for a romantic feel, up for a more formal atmosphere, keep it diffuse for coziness or direct and bright for a clinical vibe. Typically, we only get control of the illuminated environment when we’re indoors. When we’re outside or in public we rarely if ever have a say in how our lives are lit.
The Greek-based artists’ collective Beforelight specializes in experimenting with light in public spaces. Their latest installation, Under a Different Light, invited volunteers to an abandoned shop on a small street in Athens where they repaired and waterproofed 150 donated lamps. The quirky, homey lamps were then hung above the quiet street to provide lighting for a big street party for the residents of Thessaloniki. The project aimed to help visitors experience public space in a new way, and to encourage new ways of thinking about artificial light in the public sphere.