St Andrew Square will burst into a kaleidoscope of colour tonight as a new interactive exhibit celebrates Edinburgh’s age of enlightenment.
Light Fantastic will allow passersby to ‘tweet the #LightFantastic’ and change the face of the Melville Monument at night by tweeting one of nine shades.
Every three minutes between dusk and dawn until 28 April, the most tweeted colour will be projected on to the Monument to produce a rainbow lightshow.
The display is a collaboration between the Edinburgh International Science Festival and the city council.
Light Fantastic celebrates Edinburgh’s own James Clerk Maxwell, who followed in the footsteps of Edinburgh’s forefathers of the Scottish Enlightenment.
Credited with creating the first true colour photograph during the 19th century, Maxwell helped to cement Scotland’s reputation as a leading centre of learning and innovation and his statue can be found close by on George Street.
Councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s new Festivals and Events Champion, said: “The Field of Light was a welcome splash of colour especially at this time of year for both locals and visitors and really helped to boost footfall in St Andrew Square. This year, we want to relight the Square and brighten the city centre during the last remaining months of darkness before the city bursts into spring.
“Edinburgh’s international reputation as a centre for the age of enlightenment should be celebrated by everyone, and with 2015 declared as the UN’s Year of Light, this seems like the ideal moment.
“Because Light Fantastic is interactive is interactive, everyone at home and abroad with a Twitter account can inject some colour into the city centre and celebrate the Edinburgh enlightenment.”
Amanda Tyndall, Deputy Director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival said: “This year at the Science Festival we’re exploring light in all its forms through Light and Enlightenment – a series exploring the beauty and function of light and its role as a metaphor for knowledge and enlightenment.
“Edinburgh is the perfect stage for these events being the centre of the Scottish Enlightenment and home to scientist James Clerk Maxwell, who produced the world’s first ever colour photograph and just happened to be Einstein’s favourite scientist.
“Light Fantastic is a great way for everyone to understand more about Edinburgh’s Enlightenment and celebrate the city’s scientific story by interacting with the exhibit on twitter, or simply enjoying the full spectrum of colours illuminating St Andrew Square every night.”