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We Believe

We Believe - An interactive and playable light project that spanned two cities and two European countries.

We Believe - Aarhus and London, was a major interactive light installation by one of Denmark’s leading female artists, Tine Bech. The project connected two iconic Arne Jacobsen buildings, The Embassy of Denmark in London and Aarhus City Hall Tower in Denmark, to celebrate the European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017.

The project perfectly encapsulated the spirit of European collaboration and cultural exchange.

From a control room on a rooftop in Aarhus members of the public were able to illuminate the architecture of the two buildings. Audiences controlled individual light sections using a series of interactive devices - turning dials, pressing buttons and more, thereby creating a 3D playable structure, so that the two buildings were involved in a symbolic conversation as the audiences interacted. The more people played, the more alive and vivid the buildings became.

A webcam was placed at the Danish Embassy enabling participants and audiences in Aarhus to follow the interactions on screens in the control room. As people participated in Aarhus, The Royal Danish Embassy in London mirrored the interaction, in a dance of light and colour, becoming a beacon to visualise European dialogue and culture.

Both buildings are power structures and the aesthetics of the control room, as well as access to it, was essential to the project. The conceptual creation of the control room exemplified the projects theme of democracy and citizen creative participation, and the audience’s participation was, therefore, at the heart of the project. We Believe invites people to reflect on cultural exchanges between cities and countries.

The artistic vision of We Believe is to tour to it other cities. The project doesn’t only create a 3D playable interactive system where audiences can connect through play; it also invites people to create a dialogue between iconic buildings across cities or countries. Read more in this downloadable PDF.

What people said:
We Believe was an amazing visual experience that lit up two beautiful and iconic Arne Jacobsen buildings in Aarhus and London. One of the most important aspects of the Capital of Culture year was collaborating across European borders, and We Believe was a beautiful symbol of these collaborations. Rebecca Matthews, CEO of the European Capital of Culture, Aarhus 2017.

Visitors really enjoyed the projects interactive and playful elements. Couples and friends had fun collaborating together in the We Believe control room. The project was also enormously sharable and was posted in high numbers on Instagram and Facebook – people wanted to show that they had been part of We Believe. In addition, the project opened up a dialogue about the development and history of the city -both between audiences and with the wonderful volunteers who greeted visitors. Kristian Thrane, Community Manager, Aarhus 2017 Foundation

Thanks to the people of Aarhus and Tine Bech for their ‘online illumination control’ of our beautiful Embassy building. You showed amazing creativity and caught the attention of the Londoners. Ambassador of Denmark Mr Lars Thuesen.

Audience in Aarhus said:

“It was fantastic and very very beautiful - We Loved It"
For a short moment, I was in control of the colouring of the Aarhus City Hall tower AND simultaneously the Danish embassy in London. Powerful experience!
“We can see it from our home - love it”
So nice! It should always be like that!!
“It is magic...just magic”
“It’s so international” “We can see it from our home - love it”
“The most original in 2017”
“Can it stay forever, it looks fantastic”