Project Blinkenlights: Stereoscope

Stereoscope at Toronto City Hall

Stereoscope at Toronto City Hall

Everyone loves buildings that go blinkity blink. Following the long tradition of blinking houses, Blinkenlights comes to the North American continent for the first time ever this weekend.

Designed as a birthday present to ourselves for the 20th anniversary of the CCC, Project Blinkenlights was an interactive installation by members and friends of the Chaos Computer Club.

The CCC decided to turn the famous Haus des Lehrers{.linkfilter-urlfull} building at Berlin Alexanderplatz into world’s biggest interactive computer display. That was in 2001. For a later installation, called Arcade, the National Library of France in Paris was used.
Project Blinkenlights will return in Toronto, Canda this year with Stereoscope lighting up Toronto’s City Hall. From the project page:


After a long break, Project Blinkenlights{.linkfilter-drupal-node-page} is coming back big time in Toronto, Canada this year. Targeting the landmark building of Toronto City Hall{.linkfilter-drupal-node-page}, the group is participating in this year’s Nuit Blanche{.linkfilter-drupal-node-page} all-night art event on October 4th, 2008. The installation’s name “Stereoscope” reflects the special nature of the building with its two curved, opposing facades effectively creating a three-dimensional appearance.

Not having rested in the recent years, Project Blinkenlights{.linkfilter-drupal-node-page} has developed new technology to wirelessly control the lights placed behind the 960 windows of City Hall allowing for a large scale visual concert during the night in downtown Toronto.

Public Participation

As usual, Project Blinkenlights invites the public to be a part of the installation by opening up a variety of ways to interact with and provide content for Stereoscope.

Among the more traditional features, everybody can play classic computer games{.linkfilter-drupal-node-page} on the facade simply by using a mobile phone. The two upper parts of each tower serve as dedicated playgrounds each offering separate telephone numbers for individual gameplay. These numbers will be published on-site beginning the week before Nuit Blanche so that people can get the information where they need it – at Nathan Philips Square in front of City Hall in Toronto.

A simple animation tool and open animation data formats{.linkfilter-local} enable you to to create simple movies for Stereoscope – addressing one of four parts of the whole facade. Focusing on simple, low-resolution imagery, Project Blinkenlights wants to revive the spirit of the original Blinkenlights installation in Berlin that obtained its charme from the down-to-earth, bare-bones design of low-res imagery.

For advanced graphic artists, the group provides a set of tools{.linkfilter-local} running on Macintosh computers to design complex animation design that serves as the background imagery and core appearance of the Stereoscope installation.