Where new worlds are made. SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE

Once, only the rich and powerful could create new worlds. The rest of us just lived in them. Take Charles III William, Margrave of Baden-Durlach. On June 17, 1715, he began work on Karlsruhe Palace and laid out his plans for the city of Karlsruhe itself — now a large city in present-day Germany — with the palace at the center and 32 streets radiating from it like the spokes on a wheel.

Karlsruhe Palace has been rebuilt twice since then, but the world Charles William made still stands, even though much around it has changed. His palace is now a museum and the site of some of Western Europe’s most innovative light shows. Charles III William, Margrave of Baden-Durlach, had no way of knowing it, but his radial city and palace form a near-perfect forum for today’s imaginary multi-media worlds. And these new worlds are our worlds, created for our enjoyment.

Growing ambitions

Projection mapping specialists Maxin10sity have been involved with SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Light Festival Karlsruhe since it first began in 2014. And as the event has grown so has Maxin10sity’s ambitions. Tamás Vaspöri, managing director, Maxin10sity, takes up the story. “We are fortunate that the city of Karlsruhe gives us such a free hand. There are few constraints; Andras Sass, our creative director, will present an idea in storyboard form, and it’s rare for the city to ask for changes, even at that stage. It also helps that Karlsruhe is an important artistic and cultural center for the area, since that gives them the confidence to experiment and innovate and allows us to do the same.”

Obviously, over nine years of shows, technology has advanced, and not just because projectors are so much brighter now. Nor is it just the increased capability of software like Pandoras Box® Software used in the latest show — although it gives even greater scope for imagination. No, it’s the time the new tech releases for pure creative tasks. Working with AV Active GmbH, tasks that once took hours can now be completed in minutes so they can experiment more, imagine more, and achieve more than ever before.

Time matters

That means the worlds Maxin10sity can build now are more compelling and immersive than ever. Not only is technology like Pandoras Box Software more capable, it saves time, and with time comes creative freedom.

SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE 2023 is a good example. Themed around the 1980s to coincide with an exhibition within the building, it revisits a pivotal time in modern European history and culture. The Berlin Wall fell, the first computer games emerged, and a German band named Kraftwerk changed the way we all thought about electronic music.

It’s fitting that the world has created this year is technically and creatively more ambitious than ever before. And that the German electronic music group Kraftwerk, creators of an entirely new sonic world, are there too, performing live during the festivities.

What, we wonder, would Charles III William, Margrave of Baden-Durlach, have made of this new world — if he could visit ours from his?