Project Blinkenlights

Blinkenlights at the 22nd Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin
Aerial view of the Berlin installation

Project Blinkenlights was a light installation in the Haus des Lehrers building at the Alexanderplatz in Berlin that transformed the building front into a giant low-resolution monochrome computer screen. The installation was created by the German Chaos Computer Club (CCC) and went online on 11 September 2001 as a celebration of the club's 20th birthday.[1] Some novel uses of the screen are for people to call a number and play Pong via mobile phone or display animations sent in by the public.

Similar installations were created by the CCC for the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris (called Arcade) and for two towers of the City Hall in Toronto (called Stereoscope), both installations featuring a higher resolution as well as eight shades of grey.

The electrical engineering and computer science students of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics turn their Schönherz Dormitory into a giant display (the "Matrix") at their annual Schönherz Cup competition, where amongst others, teams compete in creating the most interesting and funny animation.

A similar display (featuring three colours) is annually created by students of the Wrocław University of Technology [2], and the University of Bordeaux released an opensource software framework to create interactive architectural displays [3].

Blinkenlights-like "Fertig" ("finished") message indicating construction completed at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg on 31 October 2016

Independently, an installation displaying the message "FERTiG" (German for "FINISHED") was shown at the completion of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg in 2016.

The term "blinkenlights" originates in hacker humor. One of the CCC installations is depicted in the Golden Boy and Miss Kittin video for their song "Rippin Kittin".[4]


  1. ^ "Project Blinkenlights | Project Blinkenlights". 2001-09-11. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  2. ^ "P.I.W.O. Light Show | Potężny Indeksowany Wyświetlacz Oknowy". (in Polish). Retrieved 2013-09-01.
  3. ^ "Arbalet Frontage". (in French). 2017-08-28. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
  4. ^ Golden Boy ft. Miss Kittin - Rippin Kittin (Glove Radiomix) on YouTube

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