In exactly one month from now…. Highlight Delft 2024 will kick off! We can’t wait to start the festival, there are so many exciting installations and peformances on the program this year. The coming weeks we will be counting down to the festival on all our channels with interesting information about the artists, behind the scenes images and exclusive sneak previews.

Highlight is taking over downtown Delft!

During the three days that Highlight Delft takes place, we’ll kind of take over the city center of Delft a bit. Walk around (especially in the evening) and you will undoubtedly come across some beautiful installations in the outdoor space. A real eye catcher, for example, is Spectrum Spirale by Federico Murgia. This unusual fountain of light can be seen in the Voldersgracht, near Loetje. Murgia himself describes the work as something that induces a meditative and hallucinatory experience….

The first theater performance starring an AI….

In addition to the art in the outdoor space (accessible for free), most of the installations can be seen indoors, in some very nice venues. One of those is the first theatrical performance ever at Highlight Delft! You can catch the special performance SH4DOW three nights in a row at our partner Theater de Veste. This performance is not only about Artificial Intelligence (AI), but the main role in the performance is even reserved for an AI, who is joined on stage by a real actress.

The AI has only one goal: to become the optimal human machine. During the performance, the AI tries to achieve this goal by collecting data from the audience. When you’re in the audience, you watch the performance with the help of 3D glasses that make the boundaries between real and fictional slowly disappear. Will the AI succeed in achieving its goal?

Filipp Groubnov takes you to places that are not accessible in real life

Many of the works on view during the festival are still being developed. For example, artist Filipp Groubnov is working on his installation Scorched Earth. Filipp: “The work originated when I heard about the existence of the “Zone Rouge” in France. This post-war landscape resonated with my current anxieties about war. As part of my residency at Highlight Delft, I collaborated with TU Delft’s New Media Center to turn that interest in the Zone Rouge into an installation that provides an immersive experience for viewers.

The ‘Zone Rouge’ that Filipp speaks of is a collection of areas in France where some of the heaviest battles of World War I were fought. These battles took place more than a century ago, but have had a lasting impact on both the physical and mental landscape.

After the war, certain areas had to be closed to the public because, for example, there were tons of unexploded shells and toxins from the weapons used. Today, Zone Rouge is filled with a seemingly wild forest, but the toxic memory of long-forgotten events is still alive in the landscape. Now visible and invisible embedded in the form of chemicals and craters from explosions.

A behind-the-scenes look at the development of Scorched Earth

With Scorched Earth, as in previous projects, Groubnov uses “traces” in the soil (via sensors or data) to create a virtual world as a representation of this place that has been “lost.”

And there is so much more!

These are just a few of the works on display during Highlight Delft this year, you can find the full program here!
Because many works are still under development, new information will be added to the program until the last day before the festival. So be sure to check back regularly to see the latest updates.