A young Dubai designer wants to install the world’s largest perpetual public art installation to send a message around the planet using the power of the sun. Moussa Beidas grew up in the rapidly developing emirate keenly aware of how urbanization can disconnect people from nature’s rhythms. His Solar Banner project intends to broadcast thought-provoking messages sequentially around the planet while simultaneously reconnecting us to earth’s transit around the sun.
The “banner” is actually a highly polished metal mirror, engraved with a simple text message intended to encourage passive public participation: which would be thinking.
The prototype states simply, “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”, but there’s no limit to possible content. Each mirror would be situated to reflect beams from the rising and setting sun onto a large vertical surface, ideally iconic buildings that are frequently visited or photographed.
Beidas has depicted the effect on London’s Houses of Parliament (above) and the Sydney Opera House (below).
As earth spins around the star, each mirror would reflect that phrase for only a short period each day. The message could travel through a city, or if installed in every time zone, it could go global, effectively chasing the sunlight, passed around the world much like a note in a classroom, or a typographical carrier pigeon.
He describes the project in the short clip below:
Interesting concept? Sure. Practical? Perhaps Abu Dhabi’s deep-pocketed art world could install Solar Banners as a performance piece on Saadiyat Island. Or a major brand might grab the idea to advertise their soft drink or sneakers. Maybe #Occupiers will latch on to it: you can’t get arrested for making your point with solar graffiti.
Beidas is seeking financing to produce the mirrors and set up a test installation. Find out more on Zoomaal, a new crowd-funding platform aimed at encouraging innovation in the Arab world, specifically United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Lebanon and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
All images from Zoomaal