Leave it to the Dutch to intertwine technology with art and create a masterpiece that would make Van Gogh and the entire Impressionist era proud! Celebrating 125 years since the death of Netherlands’ favorite painter, Vincent Van Gogh, Eindhoven City together with artist Daan Roosegaarde and the Heijmans company inaugurated the world’s first glow in the dark bike pathway. The rather dull bicycle route, one of many in the Netherlands, got refurbished and turned into a monument of art and technology, proving once again that the two fields, when put together, can create miracles.
The pathway was “improved” with fluorescent pebbles set in a swirling design. The glow in the dark pebbles embedded in the pathway are actually thousands of tiny solar-powered LED lights. The lights charge during the day and they emit light almost all night, turning the surrounding landscape into something only Disney would dream about. But the magic doesn’t stop here: the glow in the dark bike pathway has an enhances fluorescent effect due to the mixing of green paint and a “photo-luminising” powder.
If you consider this to be art for the art’s sake, imagine that the glow makes all night bicycle rides more pleasant and safer, not to mention that the invention is cheaper to maintain than traditional street lighting. And because we are talking about the Dutch, they also kept in mind the natural habitat around the pathway and made enough calculations to make sure the light is bright enough for the bicycle users to not need additional light posts, but mild enough to not disturb the animals in the area.
Why did we call this a work of technoart? Well, because the creator of all this, Daan Roosegaarde, called it technopoetry and we didn’t want to steal the term from him, as it is indeed a fine term to define what is going now in Eindhoven City. The artist explained his concepts and his work as follows:
I wanted to create a place that people will experience in a special way the technical combined with experience, that’s what techno-poetry means to me
As a side note, Dan was inspired by Van Gogh’s masterpiece Starry Night, and having it in mind, he decided to co-opt the construction company Heijmans to pay a metaphorical tribute to the artist. But this is not the first time this artist collaborates with a construction company and feeds a technoart project to the Dutch authorities.
Besides the glow in the dark bike pathway, the designer and the company worked together at a series of projects called “Smart Highways.” As you can probably imagine, these Smart Highways are designed with the same luminous paint that is drawn in a straight line, helping drivers to see better at night and the authorities to better control traffic in the Netherlands.
This project was unveiled last month and got the kudos it deserved. Now, once again, artists, men of law and men of business join hands and ideas together to transform a dull urban landscape into a fairytale land.