BlueBoxEnglish

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project overview
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Bluebox.jpg
Year 2006/2007
Number of pixels 686
Grayscales / Colors 128 Grayscales
Illuminant 150W construction lights
Power input 105kW
Contact person Juliane Pilster,
Stephan Kambor,
Stefan Schürmans
Project website bluebox-Webseite

The bluebox project turned an abadoned building constructed using precast concrete slabs in the center of Magdeburg (captial of the German federal state Saxony-Anhalt) into an interactive computer display.

The modification was inspired by similar projects, as Blinkenlights, La Bastille, Tower Talk and Tetris For Buildings. Each of the 686 windows became a single pixel of the huge computerized screen by means of a foil as reflector and an usual halogen reflector lamp. Consequently, pictures and movies have been shown on the front of the building. The windows were not only turned on and off, but were able to show 128 diffent brightness levels.

In July 2006, the Magdeburger Club and the BlinkenArea lauched the bluebox project after inspecting the building and doing first pixel tests. In the following time, development of the technology was done while also raising funds. The setup started in September with support of a lot of unpaid helpers. Finally, the grand opening took place on December 1st.

During the runtime until June 30th 2007, which was only interrupted by a short maintenance break, the bluebox team finished the "bluebox glassbox", a small exposition about the project itself and the history of the building (named "Blauer Bock" concerning its blue tiles). The information is also presented at http://bluebox.blinkenarea.org/glasbox.en.html. Apart from that, there was a bluebox party in the theater of Magdeburg in February and a speech about the technical background was held in the University of Magdeburg in March. A technical documentation containing hard- and software can be found on http://bluebox.blinkenarea.org/tech_doc/index.en.html.

One of the intentions in the context of the bluebox project was to draw attention to raise money, which will flow into public welfare as soon as the project ends. Therefore, people can "adopt" one of the 686 windows by a donation of at least 10 EUR (or 13 USD).

Everybody was able to play the simple games Pong, Pacman and Symmetris (kind of Tetris) on the huge computerised screen by calling a number via a normal (mobile) phone. The games were controlled by pressing the keys of the phone. In addition to that, the phone number could be used to start own movies using a code obtained by sending in the created movies via email.

Profit made with the calls to the phone number will be contributed towards a fund. Including adopted windows, money from the phone number and private donations, about 1600 EUR were collected.

You may find more information about the the project and the fundraising campaigns as well as pictures at http://bluebox.blinkenarea.org/index.en.html.