“When the Berlin Wall was built back in 1961, it literally went up overnight. Constructed first out of just barbed wire, then supplemented with concrete walls, landmines, and watch towers, the mauer split Berlin in half for nearly 30 years, until it one of the biggest bureaucratic gaffes of all time caused the wall to come down earlier than expected in 1989. To mark the anniversary of the fall of the wall, Berlin will once again cut the city in half starting in the middle of the night on November 7. But this time, it won’t be done with barbed wire–it’ll be done with balloons full of light.
Designed by light artist Christopher Bauder and film maker Marc Bauder, Lichtgrenze is a nearly 10-mile installation which will feature around 8,000 glowing white orbs, marking the original path of the Berlin Wall through the city. For two whole days, the German capital will once again be split between East and West, at least metaphorically.
Situated at six key locations along the path, Lichtgrenze will display historical footage of what was life in those areas while the wall was up. In addition, every 500 feet along the wall, visitors will be able to find personal anecdotes, memories, and stories–100 in total–from people who lived on both sides of the Wall, or whose lives were affected by it in some way.
The Lightgrenze will stay erected until November 9 at 7 p.m., at which point thousands of volunteers (called balloon patrons) will attach personal messages to the balloons and then disconnect their strings, sending the lit balloons streaking into the sky. But no need to worry about the environmental impact here: the balloons have been specially designed for the event by researchers at the University of Hannover to make sure that they are completely biodegradable.” From Fastcodesign
A very poetic project, which symbolise my vision of communication nowadays: you sent tweets that are not intended to someone especially, you just hope someone we see.
“We live in an era of communicative hyper-efficiency. With a few keystrokes, we can tweet an image to thousands of people across the world who, with a button press, can do the same.
Attachment, by ECAL student David Colombini, is in many ways less advanced than a carrier pigeon. It’s an automated machine based in Renens, Switzerland, that you can control through the web. It prints Twitter-length messages on a piece of paper, along with a six-letter code. The machine fills a weather balloon, then launches the attached message into the stratosphere. Then, wherever it lands, someone may find it, read the message, and type the code in online to see an accompanying photo or video as well.
What makes Attachment so meaty for academic criticism is its overt juxtaposition between high tech and low tech, along with highly honed and completely scattershot communication. On one hand, Attachment is every promise of modern convenience–from your chair, you can send a piece of balloon mail that will be produced in tiny assembly line production to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles. On the other hand, the balloon is whimsical to the point of absurdity, using a method of transport that will ensure your message can’t have a specific destination. On top of all that, in what appears to be a highly attentional bit of irony, it’s not a self-contained message. If the receiver wants to see the attached photo or video, they need to go back online to do so.
In this sense, Attachment is a symbol for our current state of connectivity. Releasing a balloon into the air and hoping a stranger finds it isn’t all that different from sending a tweet via a global network checking if a random follower gives it a star or RT. But whether balloon mail is a celebration or a criticism of our current state of communication, that’s up for question.” From Fastcodesign