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Early artist’s concept image for Connecting Light by YesYesNo based on an original image of Housesteads Crags © Roger Clegg


COAST TO COAST


‘Connecting Light’, a major new art instal- lation along the line of Hadrian’s Wall will be part of the programme for the London 2012 Festival. The festival is a spectacular twelve week nationwide celebration which brings together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, opening on Midsummer’s Day 21 June and running until 9 September. It gives people across the UK the opportunity to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


Connecting Light is being designed by New York based digital arts collective YesYesNo with Zachary Lieberman. YesYesNo spe- cialises in the creation of engaging, magical installations that combine creativity, artistic vision and cutting edge technology. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) commission is being produced in partner- ship with Hadrian’s Wall Heritage and local partners.


Zachary Lieberman said: “Our concept is to create a digital platform by which messages can be communicated the entire length of the Wall. The goal is to understand the Wall in a modern context and imagine the Wall not as a barrier but as a bridge, as a


means of connecting rather than dividing. The installation serves as a low res fibre optic line connecting both coasts of England and allowing messages to spread in either direction. People will be able to interact at sites along the Wall and as well as all over the world through the internet.” Linda Tuttiett, chief executive of Hadrian’s Wall Heritage, said: “Connecting Light will turn what was the Roman Empire’s northern frontier into a contemporary communica- tion system. We want to inspire a worldwide conversation of people’s thoughts on all aspects of borders and frontiers in their lives today, and we will be able to commu- nicate the importance of the World Heritage Site and showcase our inspirational northern landscapes and fantastic heritage to new audiences around the world.”


Using a series of tethered weather balloons, approximately 6ft in diameter and lit by internal LED lights, the installation will be- come a line of pulsating colours as messages are sent along the Wall. The installation will be visible in the evening and accessible to visitors at several locations. It is being designed to be viewed remotely all over the world using digital media. Messages sent across the Wall can be made visible through


smartphones, iPads and tablets and detailed information will be available at a number of visitor sites.


Development work is underway in collabo- ration with Newcastle University’s Culture Lab. Zachary Lieberman has been made a visiting professor at the university. The installation will be live from Friday 31 August to Saturday 1 September. www.hadrians-wall.org www.yesyesno.com


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