Blinkenlights documentation

Blinkenlights1One of the most amazing media installations ever was “Blinkenlights” in Berlin 2002. I just found the Movieicon documentation video via their podcast. You must watch it, it kicks you off your feet!

The hacker commmunity Chaos Computer Club (CCC) used the abandoned skyscraper “Haus des Lehrers” on Alexanderplatz to turn the windows facade into a gigantic monochromatic screen. Over 8 floors with 144 spot lights formed this huge interactive display that could be seen even hundreds of metres from above.

The lights were controlled by three computers that turned them on and off. Like that the big screen could be animated in a very simple way. People sent commands in form of textfiles via email to the controlling computers, many of them were loveletters. These could be activated by a sms-code in the very moment the two were on Alexanderplatz.

The topof bringing interactivity into the massive multimedia installation was the option to play the old arcade game “Pong”. Mobile phones were used as controllers that influenced the lights in real time.

The animated gif I used is “Der Fußballer” by Henning