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Project Blinkenlights was founded with the creation of Blinkenlights, the original interactive light installation that came to life on September 11, 2001 (no kidding) at Haus des Lehrers in Berlin, Germany. Many people know that Project Blinkenlights evolved out of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC).

That people uses skyscraper facades to display interactive installation is not something new and around for quite a while. But the CCC (Chaos Computer Club) pushed it in the last years to a new level. Here is a documentary about the Arcade installation from 2002 where they used the tower of the Bibliothèque nationale de France in the context of the Nuit Blanche art festival in Paris. With a matrix of 20 x 26 windows (resulting in 520 directly addressable pixels) and a size of 3370m2, the Arcade installation was positioned to be world’s biggest computer screen ever.

By using the newly created ArcadePaint program – running on Mac OS and Windows operating systems – everybody could start creating his own pictures and animations immediately. The resulting files could be sent in by e-mail to become part of the ever-growing playlist of animations to be displayed during the lifespan of Arcade. Programmers had the opportunity to create animations directly by creating the simple, XML-based file format, which is a natural evolution of the original Blinkenlights Movies file format.

Have a look at the documentary about the project. It’s worth watching!