Five Helium filled black balloons were launched on Saturday night by our house guest, Michael Yuen. A small ricotta tub carrying a battery pack and a myriad of LED lights hung apparently in mid air, as the balloons rose, freaking out a number of water birds swooping low over the Tamar at the time. Our dinner guests assisted in reeling in the balloons after the line tethering them to earth became snagged on neighbouring trees.
We were lucky enough to view the first test flight! The real thing will happen in 3 cities: Amsterdam, Cologne and Paris in January 2009, as a part of an art program called "We Art The People".
To me, the launch seemed to embody the possibility of hope: a kind of optimism that derives from the release of balloons. Or it could be that the thought of creating another star in the night sky is beautifully romantic. For others on the evening, the thought of the blackness of the balloons made the project appear more sinister. An alien invasion: close encounters getting a little too close. It did remind me of an alien representation from a Dr Who episode from the 1970's, but not too scary.