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Floating beacons to illuminate Hadrian’s Wall for London 2012 Festival

  • Date: 24 August 2012
  • Area: National
Father and daughter looking up at a large illuminated coloured balloon at Hadrian's Wall

Artist's visualisation of Connecting Light. Credit: Peter Bailey, commissioned by Hadrian’s Wall Trust

Connecting Light, a major new digital art installation, will bring visual and technological spectacle to Hadrian's Wall on the nights of Friday 31 August and Saturday 1 September as part of London 2012 Festival. 

Artist Zachary Lieberman and New York-based digital arts collective YesYesNo have collaborated to create an interactive installation comprising 400 tethered weather balloons, running the length of Hadrian's Wall, approximately 6 feet in diameter and containing LEDs.

Between 8pm and 11pm, the balloons will light up as digital messages, sent remotely, travel up and down the length of the Wall, transforming it into a line of pulsating colour.

Zachary Lieberman, artist, 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. People will be able to interact at sites along the wall and as well as all over the world through the internet.'

How to get involved

The installation is designed to be engaged with remotely and can be experienced anywhere in the world using digital media.

You can view it and send your own messages along the wall using a device with access to the internet such as a smartphone or laptop. Go to Connecting Light's website for more information.

Twitter users are also encouraged to share their experiences of the installation and track its movements using the #ConnectingLight hashtag.

Alternatively, Connecting Light can be experienced firsthand from nine recommended viewing spots including Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend and Carlisle Castle. Go the Hadrian's Wall website for further information, where you can also find out how to get involved as a 'connector' to help install the piece in the central sections of Hadrian's Wall.

How we have supported the project

Connecting Light was funded by Arts Council England through our Grants for the arts scheme. It is also a key event in the London 2012 Festival, celebrating the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

We are a principal funder of London 2012 Festival and the wider Cultural Olympiad. To find out more about our involvement, go to our London 2012 pages.