City Sleep Light

installation for a city

Antoine Schmitt


Presentation - Media Facades Festival 2010 videos - Fête des Lumières Lyon 2011 City Pulses


City Sleep Light is an artwork that makes the radical move of transforming a whole building into the sleep light of the city, akin to the sleep light of a computer. All the lights of the building pulse together : seen from far away, the whole building behaves like a single white light slowly pulsating with an organic rhythm. It can be seen from very far, even from outer-space. This giant sleep light starts when night falls and the city's activity slows down. It is the sleep light of the city.

Like animals sleep brainwaves, the City Pulse rhythm and dynamics is slightly different every night, because it is sensitive to the current spirits of the city, perceived through various socio-economic markers.

Abstracting the concept of Nicolas Schoeffer's cybernetic towers, City Sleep Light acknowledges the city as a very large system, but here the huge urban organism is sleeping. Through the sole presence of the pulsating sleep light, thanks precisely to the actual absence of any superfluous arbitrary visual effect or data representation, it confronts the spectator to the potential complexity and power of the city when it wakes up.

Its organic pulse also creates an emotional link by connecting the inhabitants with the city's sleep, triggering feelings of peacefulness, empathy and belonging. But as often in my artworks, it is not innocuous and eventually questions the people about their role and responsibility within this complex system.

Physically, City Sleep Light can be created using various technologies, like LED-equipped facades and building, light or LED projectors, videoprojectors, etc... In any case, the light is synchronized on the City Pulse, which is available through internet and is also visible live inside a browser, so that anyone at home or abroad, on his iPhone or her Android, can connect to it and pulse synchronously with the city's sleep.

The City Pulse never stops and the City Sleep Light is its manifestation.

Antoine Schmitt, august 2010



3-13 Dec 2012 : City Sleep Light exhibited on the SESI Center (Sao Paulo, BR), as part of the Sao Paulo Urban Digital Festival

debrousse csl

6-11 décembre 2011 : Pour la Fête des Lumières de Lyon 2011, Vinci Immobilier a commandité le déploiement de City Sleep Light sur l'ancien hôpital Debrousse. For the Fête des Lumières of Lyon 2011 (FR), Vinci Immobilier has commissionned the deployment of City Sleep Light on the former Debrousse Hospital.
debrousse csl


October 2010 : City Sleep Light has been awarded an Honorary Mention at the Digital Turku LIVE 2011 Grand Prix.

August 2010 : City Sleep Light is selected and presented in the Media Facades Festival 2010 in five european cities.