Experience the Speed of Light
Public art charity NVA today put out a call for runners to participate in Speed of Light, which will bring people together from all over the UK in a programme of cultural activity and presentations. NVA’s Speed of Light will climax with a series of mass participation performances that will take place in August 2012 on Edinburgh’s iconic Arthur’s Seat as part of the Edinburgh International Festival and London 2012 Festival.
NVA’s Speed of Light is one of only four national projects to be commissioned as part of Legacy Trust UK’s Community Celebrations programme, an independent charity set up to build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The project has also been supported and funded by Creative Scotland and the Dunard Fund.
NVA’s Speed of Light is looking for thousands of runners to bring Arthur’s Seat to life through sporting endeavour and performative visual art between Thursday 9th August and Saturday 1st September 2012.
Each night hundreds of runners will activate specially designed light suits at night, illuminating the hillside. Runners will follow a choreographed series of movements over Arthur’s Seat path network creating an astonishing visual display.
Jonathan Mills, Edinburgh International Festival Director said: ‘Speed of Light is a vast and exciting project with important and timely ambitions. We are very proud to be presenting its premiere as part of the Edinburgh International Festival in 2012 and we very much hope to make the most of the many opportunities it presents to grow relationships with sporting and community organisations.
From today we are asking you to get involved in helping to create this spectacular work. It’s an extraordinary opportunity for people to take part and to experience first hand the ideas and the beliefs at its heart.’
Speed of Light will investigate the physiological and psychological aspects to endurance running, exploring the impact within the body and the extent to which power of mind can override physical pain. To be able to take part in this momentous event, runners will need to have a good level of fitness. By summer 2012, those signing up to the challenge will need to have the stamina to complete a 3-5K hill run and be able to stay active over a 1 ½ - 2 ½ hour period a night.
In addition to runners, audience members, 800 per night, will be integral to the event. They will generate their own light through the movement of bespoke walking staffs as they ascend to the summit to witness the remarkable moving tableaux below.
Angus Farquhar, Creative Director NVA said: “Speed of Light is an exciting and equally challenging new work for NVA which will see us collaborating with thousands of runners and new cultural and sporting partnerships across the country. It is a runners dream to be part of making such an extraordinary collective visual statement.
Our ambitions with Speed of Light are many and varied - to encourage interaction and participation on a massive scale; to investigate new technologies using light and energy and to challenge peoples perceptions of themselves and the landscape of Scotland.
Speed of Light as an act of co-operative enterprise that rises above the competitive aspect of sport to reveal the simple beauty of running and a mountain brought together for the world to see. “