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Program 2020

Bergen Lights was held for the first time from the 17th to the 19th of January 2020. The festival presented, amongst others, the internationally renowned light artists Yvette Mattern (US) and HC Gilje (N).  

We opened the festival on Friday January 17th 2020 with the Light Conference, in collaboration with Bergen Light Group. We held activities for children and families in multiple spots around the city, and on Saturday January 18th we joined the celebration of the 950 year anniversary of Bergen, with different light installations on Vågen. You can look back at the festival here, with the program from 2020, as well as on our Facebook and Instagram page.


We can't wait to welcome you to a new edition of Bergen Lights in 2021 - follow us for updates!

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Program 2020

Light nr. 1

Yvette Mattern - Global Rainbow

The monumental artwork Global Rainbow has traveled around the world since 2009 with its laser-based "Rainbow bridge". This is a world-renowned artwork that represents the best of what big-scale light art can offer. Like an echo from Norse mythology and images from a different season, the installation will light up the city sky, from Fløyen and westward towards Lyderhorn every night from Friday January 17th to Sunday January 19th, between 17:00 and 23:00.

Global Rainbow (2009)

Location: From Fløyen, over Bergen, to Lyderhorn


Friday: 17:00-23:00

Saturday: 18:00-23:00

Sunday: 17:00-23:00


HC Gilje

HC Gilje has through the years become known for his groundbreaking work in the field of light art. In Bergen his installation Puls in the Fantoft light rail tunnel is well known. He has lived and worked in Bergen and is now based in Oslo. While producing his own works he has also published open source platforms for free use by other artists. This has made him well known among artists, curators and the public. Bergen Lights wants to highlight national artists like Gilje and will be presenting several of his works. HC Gilje will be showing five works during our premiere festival.

Light nr. 2
The Rise and Fall (2020)

Location: KODE 1



Notice: expanded opening hours during the festival

Friday: 11:00-23:00

Saturday: 11:00-21:00

Sunday: 11:00-19:00


Bergen Lights commissioned work is situated in the foyer of Bergen Art Museum's KODE 1 and is called The Rise and Fall. For this piece Gilje has utilized the 18m tall room. Four light pulses move along the vertical axis of the space and create a room in constant change. The work is especially made for the Festival and is shown in cooperation with KODE. 

Light nr. 3
Omdreiningspunkt/Revolver (2014)

Location: The Music Pavilion in Byparken

This piece is seen and experienced from the outside



Outside KODE 1, in the music pavilion, we place one of Gilje's earlier pieces Revolver. This piece consists of three circles of LED lights, hanging vertically in each other. The light slowly moves around the circles, one blue, one white and one red light. Light and shadow is projected around the space. The pavilion is viewable through the axis from Festplassen all the way up to the National Stage and is chosen for this function.

Light nr.4
Beacon (2016)

Location: Utestua - USF

17.01.20-19.01.20 - seen from the outside


For Utestua's intimate showroom Gilje has prepared a custom adjustment to his installation Beacon. It consists of a light projector that produces a line of light that slowly moves through the room. The projector is made from a glass cylinder with water and a light that rotates. The water acts as a lens for the light and can resemble "an inverted lighthouse". The exhibition at USF is in cooperation with Visningsrommet, with project support from "Åpne dører", Bergen kommune.

Light nr. 5
In Transit (2012)

Location: Visningsrommet USF


17.01.20-16.02.20 - Seen from the outside


One of Gilje's earlier pieces, In Transit, is chosen for this room's characteristics in dialogue with the work. You will see a repeating light pulse that moves through the room across a series of white frames. The frames turn on and off as the light moves over them, while slow shadows of the frames move through the room. The work is a quiet dramatization of the room, while being a kind of state that one gets into. The exhibition at USF is a collaboration with Visningsrommet. 

Light nr. 6
Radiant Live (2019)

Location: Østre - House for sound art and electronic music

Live concert: 17.01.20 at 22:00 (Doors open at 21:30)

Exhibition: 17.01.20 at 22:20-23:00

Opening party for the festival

EKKO and Østre have their own program from 23:00


At Østre, House for sound art and electronic music, Gilje will perform one of his latest works: Radiant Live. This is a commission made for Sonic Acts in Amsterdam in February 2019. It utilizes the sound and light of laser and photosensitive emulsion. 

A white laser light moves over a big screen and draws dots and lines only visible for a short moment before it's gone. The echo of the light is stored in the phosphor pigments of the screen and gradually fades through the performance. Layer by layer the simple drawings from the intense, frenetic light creates and ever-changing pattern of glowing green abstractions. 

The piece will be performed live, for free, once at 22:00 on the 17th of January, and can be viewed as a preprogrammed installation for one hour after the show.

After the show the EKKO festival have their own program. 

This is all a part of the festivals opening party.

Light nr. 7
Lux Animalia - Kunstpilotene

Location: Byparken

Workshop: 17.01.20-19.01.20 from 17:00-20:00


Friday: 20:00-23:00

Saturday: 20:00-23:00

Sunday: 17:00-20:00

Welcome to the world of glowing animals when 950 butterflies enter Byparken!

Join the Lux Animalia family workshop, where 950 butterflies are to be decorated and settled among luminous animals on a butterfly igloo in Byparken. The invitation reads Greetings from Bergen. Draw or write your contribution to the world for the next 950 years! Your butterfly will be a part of a brilliant swarm of messages for the future. Anyone who wants can participate, it is free. Stop by the workshop in Byparken by Festplassen on Friday 17th of January, Saturday 18th of January and Sunday 19th of January, from 17:00-20:00. Exhibition from 20:00-23:00 on Friday and Saturday. The workshop and exhibition are produced by Kunstpilotene

This project is especially supported by Vestland Fylkeskommune and Bergen kommune.

Light nr. 8
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Location: On the facade of The Western Norwegian Theatre.



Nostalgia is the identity of the city

Nostalgia is the city's belief in the future

Nostalgia is the city's hope


When the most iconic fish shop "Søstrene Hagelin" had to close down in 2009 the citizens were infuriated. Sira is using people's statements from that time to show the commitment and love the citizens have for Bergen, through visual art.

Light nr. 9

Location: the Ibsen statue in front of the National Stage


The writer Henrik Ibsen has been of great importance for Bergen, not only for the development of The National Stage (DNS) but also for the cultural life and the cultural identity of the city. The statue of Ibsen will be lit up and archive materials from the beginning of the theatre will be projected on the statue to mark his and the theatre's importance in the city.

Light nr. 10

Location: Galleri Entrée

Concert and video projection:

Friday 17.01.20 at 16:30

Saturday 18.01.20 at 16:30


Watermusic is a visual concept by Halldis Rønning, where she has been inspired by the underwater world to create an abstract constellation of video and musical compositions, made up of movement, light, color, darkness and space. Through two different performances we meet two very different deposits of an underwater landscape, performed with different instruments and performed with different instruments and performers, but based on the same visual materials. 

Contributing artists are photographer Siv Johanne Seglem who created the video material, and musicians Guro Moe, Håvard Skaset, Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen and Trond Hugo Ahlsen who participate as improvisation artists and composers, as well as artist Beda Maria Johanson who has created a new glass instrument in collaboration with Halldis Rønning especially for the occasion. 

The project has received funding from Morten Eide Pedersens Minnefond

Friday 17.01.20, at 16:30

Concert with Håvard Skaseth (synth), Halldis Rønning (glass), video by Siv Johanne Seglem. Sound: Thorolf Thuestad​

Saturday 18.01.20, at 16:30

Concert with Guro Moe (double bass), Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen (water), video by Siv Johanne Seglem. Sound: Thorolf Thuestad

Light nr. 11
Vågen Lyser - Bergen 950 years

Location: Vågen

Time: Saturday 18.01.20 from 18:00 - 20:00

Bergen Lights joins Bergen kommune in marking the official opening of the 950-year anniversary of Bergen on January 18th, by focusing on the theme of the "Ocean City Bergen". We have collaborated with the Bergen Fire Department and the fireboat Sjøbrand, to pay tribute to them as a very important part of Bergen having a 950-year anniversary. Statsraad Lehmkuhl is of course a part of the light installation, and we also look forward to having close to 100 kayak paddlers with lights, paddlers from a number of different kayak clubs in the region. We can promise a great light experience! 

Acts on Vågen is a part of the official opening of the anniversary year which will take place on Bryggen on Saturday January 18th. We have worked closely with Bergen kommune's own opening event, which takes place from the stage at Bryggen, in order to allow the light festival's elements to contribute in the best possible way for a very special experience for the audience present at Bryggen this evening. Bergen Light's contributions have been developed by the artists Francisco Munoz, Pekka Stokke, and Bjor Grønner/KuBe. Director and production, Birk Nygaard and Kulturoperatørene for Bergen Lights. 

Other projects

Andre prosjekter

Bergen Lights has partnered with many actors who want to contribute during the Bergen International Light Festival and we are excited about it! Here is an overview of other activities that can be experienced during the festival days.

Make a lantern and light the city!

Workshop: Grand Selskapslokaler at Ole Bull place

Exhibition: Ole Bulls place

Period: Saturday 18.01.20 from 11:00 - 16:00


In occation of the 950-year anniversary of Bergen we are inviting everyone to make lanterns to light up Ole Bulls place on Saturday January 18th. 

Make lanterns of empty glass jars with room for a candle and deliver to Hotel Norge before January 18th. You can also make lanterns at our workshop at Grand Selskapslokaler on Saturday January 18th from 11:00. Bring your own glass jar, and we will provide the rest. 

By making a lantern you are contributing several nice things:

1) You are a part of creating a great communal light installation in your city

2) You will contribute to repurposing used jars by giving them new life

3) You will be contributing to a charity as the lanterns will be sold after Bergen Lights


VilVite - Workshop and Science show about light

Location: VilVite

Time: Saturdays and Sundays at 13:00 and 14:00 from 

11.01.2020 - 16.02.2020

Best suited for children from 8 years - our younger accompanied by an adult

VilVite is organizing a creative workshop where young and old can experiment and create small light sculptures, for Bergen Lights. The workshop is in Skaperhaugen (Creative Garden) at VilVite, every Saturday and Sunday at 13:00 and 14:00, from January 11 to February 16 2020. In the same periode VilVite is presenting a science show about lights. Which kind of lights did the Vikings use? And how does a match actually work? 


We repurpose materials

Repurposing is important for us, therefore we will take apart all the light sculptures after the workshop has ended, and reuse the components. Please take a photo of your light sculpture, and if you share the picture on Facebook or Instagram you will make us very happy. This way both us and others will be able to see what you created! We will draw a winner of one family ticket to VilVite amongst everyone using the hashtags: #vilvite #bergenlysfestival

VilVite is an exciting science centre where we invite both young and old into the compelling world of natural science, phenomena and technology. 

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Fløyen - Winterlights in the Troll Forest


Location: Trollskogen, Fløyen

Time: 17.01.20 - 19.01.20 from 15:00 - 18:00

In addition to being the place where the Global Rainbow is located, Fløyen presents activities in their winter lighted forest of Trolls. See their website for program.

Bjørk - MK Illumination


Location: Festplassen

Time: 17.01.20 - 19.01.20

This luminous birch is lent to Bergen Lights by MK Illumination, and is placed near the statue of Christian Michelsen on Festplassen.

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Open day at the Old Fire station

Location: The Old Fire station

Time: Saturday 18.01.20 at 16:00

In collaboration with the Bergen Fire Brigade History Team we open up the old fire station for a place to warm up with some soup and refreshments. The old fire station is lit up with Christmas lighting from the 1930's. Here the old fire trucks are exhibited, and you can hear stories about the dramatic city fires throughout the years.

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Bryggen Museum / Dreggsallmenningen

Anniversary and outdoor event

Location: Bryggens Museum / Dreggsallmenningen

Time: Saturday 18.01.20 and Sunday 19.01.20 from 11:00

In connection with the opening of Bergen 950-years there will be activites and small games in the outdoor area in and around Bryggens Museum. Bryggens Museum will open for all the city's inhabitants. There will be a short program in the culture hall from around 19:15 on Saturday January 18th. Mediators are available in the exhibition, and Kongshirden, Bergen Handverkslag and the band Canardus Horribilis are all there to create an amazing celebratory evening. And Bergen Lights will light up Dreggsalmenningen and Bryggens Museum.

Medieval cluster -
Bergen 1320 digital time travel

Location: Rosenkrantzgaten / Bryggen

Time: 17.01.20 - 19.01.20

Underneath the parking garage in Rosenkrantzgate are the remains of Bergens medieval wine cellar. Adjacent to the wine cellar was the city's oldest town hall, in medieval times called Stevnestova, most likely from the year 1315. Are you curious of how Stevnestova and the wine cellar might have looked? Have a look!

In the project Bergen 1320 digital visualizations of different places in the medieval city are made. This is done by the Medieval cluster, and collaborating parties in the project are Bergen kommune by the director of cultural heritage for the City of Bergen and Norway, the University of Oslo and Arkikon.

Read more about digital time travel here

S12 - Lightkeepers

Location: Galleri S12

Time: Every week Wednesday to Sunday from 12:00 - 16:00 until February 2nd 2020

Glass artist Sarah Blood and others present works of glass where light is used as an important element. The exhibition Lightkeepers is produced by S12 and we are happy to present it during the festival.

Light conference

Location: Scandic Ørnen Hotel

Time: 17.01.20 from 13:30 - 18:45


Bergen Lights and the Bergen Light group invite you to the Light Conference on Friday January 17th. The Bergen Light group consists of different multidisciplinary players within the light industry, and along with Bergen Lights a full program will be presented. 

Here you will learn about the new lighting plan for Bryggen and Solheimsviken. Yvette Mattern will speak about her laser rainbow "Global Rainbow" and festival artist HC Gilje will speak about light art in general and his artwork specifically. Director for the Light Art Collection in Amsterdam, Albert Deltour, will speak about light festivals positive effects in the cities they are arranged in, and much more. 

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OK Foto is arranging a photo workshop during the festival days. There will be meetings and excursions for taking good pictures of the festival installations. At the end there will be a print workshop where the participants can print and exhibit their best picture.

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Photo contest


Period: 17.01.20 - 22.01.20

Take the best photo of the laser rainbow and win great prizes from CEWE Japan Photo!

All photos with #BERGENLIGHTS shared from an open account is part of the contest.

CEWE Japan Photo will award the "Best Rainbow", "Best Festival Experience" and "Most liked photo". The jury consists of employees at CEWE Japan Photo. One winner in each category will receive their photo printed on alu-plate size up to 75x75 cm, along with a gift certificate for CEWE photo products for NOK 1.000,- (total value up to NOK 2.278 pr prize).

The contest will close two days after the festival has ended and the winners will be directly contacted through Instagram (by 31.01.2020 at the latest). 

Contest rules:

- The photographer of the picture is the winner. If you post a picture someone else has taken, the photographer will receive the prize. 

- The profile you post from must be open, if not the jury will not have access to the admitted photos.

- The photos can be posted both on Instagram and Facebook.

- The organizers hold the right to disqualify pictures from the contest.

- If your photo wins you must accept that Bergen Lights and CEWE Japan Photo will have access to limited use of the photo to announce the winner and speak about the contest in a journalistic manner. If the photograper does not accept this, the prize will move to the next person.

- The winner must accept the prize before February 9th 2020, if not the prize will move to the next person.



Øyvind Storheim, CEO Kulturoperatørene AS

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Initiator and owner of Bergen Lights

Steinar Kristoffersen, CEO Bergen Sentrum AS


Bergen Lights 2020

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