Lighting Design Group Report - Sao Paulo, Brazil

August 2014

Lighting Design Group (LDG) is not particularly a body that has proved to create its own activity. Usually the demand is raised by commissions or local organisations, not by ourselves. In meetings plans of different content are discussed and proposed, I never saw it as my own task to take the lead in bringing this further. These activities should be initiated by people who propose them and get help by (members of) the group as needed. The group is able to serve as hub to locate specific knowledge and could function to support the organisation of local projects and activity. The Education Commission for instance is very good in activating LDG, demanding I would almost say. The Performance Design commission, that is our umbrella, and for that the scenographers have been seldom (not never) heard to request any work from the LDG.

Members of the group themselves are in the same fashion not good in asking for help. Would asking for help mean that some reward in return, not being cash though, must be done as good practice to voluntary work. I wonder what people have hold back to initiate their proposals.

For this particular gathering here in Sao Paulo some proposals were made but most of those have unfortunately not been rewarded to be scheduled in the program. Nevertheless LDG is apparent at the Brazil meeting and we planned some activity after all.

In Cardiff LDG was very present with many activities at WSD. iLo brought the model theatre from Amsterdam together with its lecturers and fulltime activity. We also had a chance to meet with the UK based ALD which resulted in talks to tighten the strings between the two. Many meetings took place organised in conjunction and cooperation with the former 2007 PQ Scenofest staff. We have been missing Steve Brown in these but we had a good memorizing celebration of him during the meetings.

New business is on its way, an international Lighting Designers Meeting, the third in succession is in preparation by the Hong Kong Academy of performing arts. Myself I am planning a LIGHTSPOT at PQ15 so that we have everything in control by ourselves. Anders Larson invites the LDG to the 4th Scanlight in Malmö just in advance of PQ however that may not come in handy for many delegates.

OISTAT is a slow organisation having meetings only once a year. The past fourteen years as head of the LDG have made me many friends spread over the world and I had a lot of unexpected wonderful experiences, meetings and exchange. The community is growing as a family in many parts of the world like it is again expanding here in Brazil.

However I will not leave and say farewell to my ‘family’, I think it is time to hand over the leadership of LDG. In those 14 years I tried to invent what LDG could be. I still don't know but maybe I will never know. It brought me ideas and I’ve established a lighting institute in my country. The best thing is that it connects me to colleagues all over the world that have inspired me. It is a people network that proved very important for my vision on my profession. What it also does is celebrating our profession and sharing some of the knowledge and passion around the globe.

LDG may go into a new stage in its development with new leaders. And it should keep inventing itself over and over again. New leadership is to find possible new directions. At the same time I would say to the new leadership: take the time that you need while it needs a long breath.

I do not quit working with and for the group though, I will be an active member. Of course I will work together with the new leadership. But leaving the responsibilities may make it easier for me to develop and create activity based on my own navigation. Either via iLo, my lighting institute and/or via OISTAT channels. I am already working on a project for PQ15 where you are very welcome to join in and take over parts of the program.

The lighting people gathered in Sao Paulo have chosen to grant the stepping up of the two candidates for the position to work both together as the new heads of the LDG. Kimmo Karjunen and Nick Moran will function as new heads for the group sharing their time and efforts. We have chosen not to give one of them a position over the other. (Head and associate) Every activity and effort made is appreciated and they can decide how to share the workload.

Last but not least I like to thank VPT, my local Centre, for making all of this possible. However my own institute iLo has been a big sponsor for OISTAT as well. I pulled it into that. And next to that it is understood that you yourself must sponsor OISTAT as well, bring your personal credit card with you.

But don't think I complain, I enjoyed every bit of it and will as long as I can stay with you, enjoying renewed energy and ideas.

Thank you all, this is not a farewell, I certainly hope to see you in the near future anywhere in the world.

Henk van der Geest
at OISTAT Performance Design meeting