25 Years On, Germany Turns to Artists to Recall Berlin Wallon November 10, 2014 at 5:24 pm
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. In the case of the once-divided city of Berlin, former nexus of East and West Germany and the front line of the Cold War, the idea to temporarily retrace the path of the Berlin Wall proved deceptively complex.
The “Border of Light” – eight miles of 8,000 luminescent balloons with a personal message on each – was set up last week following years of planning around the best possible way to commemorate Berlin’s historic reconnection 25 years ago.
As many do in times of reflection the city turned to its artists.Marc and Christopher Bauder were engaged to marry the unique, often bleak history of the wall with Berlin’s progressive, modern feel. They did so by bringing together a creative and strikingly simple idea that nonetheless took in several aspects of the city’s current incarantion, including its reputation as an eco-friendly hub of technology.
The result is a simple yet striking reminder of just how far and wide the wall divided the city, in a subtle way that also allowed the temporary barrier to be removed . The thousands of biodegradable balloons were released yesterday in a ceremony that both lamented the history and celebrated the future of continued hope and prosperity as only art can.
In the years since Germany reformed as one country, Berlin has forged a new identity as a mecca for technology and creativity.
In many ways the project’s co-creator Christopher Bauder is the perfect embodiment of this development; a digitally-minded artist attempting to make sense of his city and environment through the lens of modern technology. Sunday night was a celebration of all that we can achieve when creativity isn’t repressed and technology is used in ways that move its users forward.
That artists led this celebration is a compelling reminder of why we so revere them, and why we fight so hard to protect creative rights and freedoms.