What’s The World’s Longest Work of Art?

Parsons students help prototype Connecting Lights, a 73 mile-long installation across Hadrian’s Wall, created by YesYesNo, an artist collective co-founded by Parsons Professor Zachary Lieberman.

On Friday, August 31, the world’s longest work of art will blink to life. And Parsons is helping make sure that it stays on.

Zachary Lieberman, an alumnus of and now faculty member in the MFA Design and Technology program within Parsons’ School of Art, Media, and Technology, along with a team of Parsons students, is helping New York digital art collective YesYesNo design and implement their work Connecting Light. A singular melding of the digital and the physical, Connecting Light will have hundreds of light-filled weather balloons tethered relatively low to the ground, communicating colors from one balloon to the next.  The installation is set to span the entire 73-mile length of 2000-year-old Roman fortification Hadrian’s Wall, located in northern England, and the organizers believe it to be the world’s longest work of art.

Viewers not in the UK can go to Connecting Light’s website and enter messages which the balloons will communicate to each other. Full schematics of the guts of the project – the circuit boards inside the balloons – are available on the project’s blog, for anyone interested in recreating or continuing the work.

“We are imagining a reverse wall – an inverse of the border Lieberman told England’s The Telegraph for a recent story. “The border was built to separate people, and we want to bring them together again.”

Connecting Light is part of the London 2012 Festival, a 12-week cultural celebration for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It will be on view this weekend only, from August 31 to September 1.