Why FlyingFlags New York?
In the context of the negative media coverage of Switzerland in the United States, it is valuable to remember that the average citizens of these two countries are not particularly interested in the intrigues and machinations of the big international banks. FlyingFlags New York emphasizes the positive characteristics shared by Switzerland and the United States of America, and it is a well-timed reminder of the ties of friendship that bind these two countries together
The Concept of FlyingFlags New York
The envisaged location of our Project in the newly established Brooklyn Bridge Park, in the area known as Dumbo or “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass” (D.U.M.B.O.), is the ideal location for our FlyingFlags. In this place, the flag of the host nation, the United States of America, meets the flag of the visitors, Switzerland. As these two nations’ flags share the colors red and white, they are able to merge seamlessly with each other for a shared moment in time. This temporary union creates a kind of magical flying carpet, floating above the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Pedestrians and visitors wandering through the park can and are encouraged to walk around underneath the flying carpet, enjoying the unusual new perspectives and basking in the beams of sunlight, as the sun shines through and illuminates the colorful balloons. The softly rounded balloons, gently moving in the breeze, stand in stark contrast to the glass-fronted, sharp-edged skyscrapers of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
My strong sense of connection to New York is frequently bringing me back to the Big Apple. In fact, my first art works originated during an extended stay in New York in 1987/1988. It marked a significant increase in my creativity and artistic ambitions, and led to the development of my passion for large-scale art installations in particular. In the 30 years since then, much has happened, and much has changed, not only globally but also within myself as an artist.
Safety & Security
We take safety very seriously. Each balloon is anchored on at least three different points. The plastic-covered wire-rope is firmly attached to the foundation. At least two security officers will guard the display around the clock, both during the construction phase as well as during the 14 days of the display. Experience has taught us that these balloon displays attract large numbers of people – unfortunately, they also attract people who want to damage or destroy the balloons. It is thus important to prepare a comprehensive safety and security plan.
As was the case with the other three balloon projects that we have realized in various other countries around the world, we use balloons made of synthetic rubber, with a diameter of 3 meters (9 feet). The balloons are fully inflated with helium gas, which poses no danger to people or the environment. At their lowest point, the balloons are floating 3 meters above the ground, and at their highest point, about 24 meters above ground level. The individual balloons are anchored to a pedestal by means of thin plastic-covered wire-ropes. They are also connected to each other, with each balloon on the edge of the FlyingFlags linked to three adjacent balloons, and each balloon in the middle linked to four adjacent balloons. In addition, a safety rope running through the tops of all the balloons ties them all to each other.
Media & Marketing
The Project will receive extensive coverage in both local and international media. The relevant information will be disseminated by the artist among the various media channels in order to obtain the biggest possible coverage – which will also please our sponsors. We will post regular updates with regard to the FlyingFlags project and its realization via social media (Website, Twitter, Facebook, etc).
As this unusual project will be quite expensive, we are intending to finance it by attracting local sponsors and Swiss and American businesses, as well as using internet-based crowd-funding. We will also request a substantial contribution from the Schweizerische Kulturförderung. In addition, we will apply for in-kind sponsorships of equipment, as well as of transport, board and lodging.