The Water We Breathe

storytelling light art installation

Did you know microbes in open waters use light to provide 50% of all oxygen on Earth? The Water We Breathe is a storytelling light art installation presented at Amsterdam Light Festival in the Fall of 2020. In a collaboration with 650 local primary school students, the University of Amsterdam and ARTIS Micropia, we conducted research into the levels of oxygen of the canals in Amsterdam. The participating children dyed their water samples based on the amount of oxygen they found during the experimental workshops taught by the University of Amsterdam.

Together these samples formed a 23m x 3m light art installation spelling the magic formula: H2O+LIGHT=O2. The beautiful mosaic reads as a large oxygen map of the city. The interactive research report and video continue to inform the whole city about the importance of taking care of the water we breathe.

Concept: Jasper van den Berg & Lucas De Man
Design: Pascal Leboucq


For and with Amsterdam Light Festival in collaboration with Juf op Straat, Wetenschapsknooppunt Amsterdam, Universiteit van Amsterdam, ARTIS Micropia with support of BankGiro Loterij Fonds