The star of Aï
Landscape itineraries
International landscape meetings
Literary week
Work in progress

  The designers

Daniel Schlaepfer
Alex Tzonis

  The star of Aï

At the twilight, a luminous dot shines in the horizon. It shines above the lake of Geneva, marking its presence in the nocturne landscape, affirming an existence on a line of uncertain mountain tops and sometimes mixing itself with the stars. It is visible miles around.

Once the night has fallen, the mountain top melts into the darkness of the sky. The perception of the tops gets blurry. The eye cannot perceive depth anymore and loses its precision. In the infinite blackness, colours disappear. The summit of the Berneuse floats in the sky. It is specifically identifiable by the speck of light on its top. The nature of this speck is difficult to identify, it could just be a star among others.

The lake of Geneva, surrounded by mountain tops is one of the most beautiful panoramas which exists. Each peak has its place and is distinct from the rest. Visible form afar, the summits question us, becoming our familiar landmarks. As one walks around, one discovers of panoramic maps their names, their altitudes, a piece of their identities. Berneuse, 2048 meters! After a curve, one sees a hidden aspect and one conceives changing appearances.

At the summit of the Berneuse, the landscape grows almost theatrically. The vision flies beyond borders. Here is Italy and the Grand Paradis, closer nearby is France and Thonon, Evian and the Mont Blanc, on the other side the Jura and towns by the lakeside which are more familiar to us: Vevey, Lausanne and even Nyon are part of the landscape. From this point of view, one observes a region a bit lower down, a living crowd and one feels the eyes raising towards us, observing us. From this double movement, watcher and person watched, grows the consciousness of the place. The panorama becomes a landscape.

The «étoile d’Aï» is an artistic expression of light at the summit of the Berneuse. By this gesture, light transforms the landscape, becoming an interactif element, inviting the spectator to become an actor. Dialling a given number on a telephone changes the colours in real time. Everyone can thus influence at their will the colours of this point of light.

This light wavers, changes colour, questions, blinks, changes yet again. It is an element of a game. Green, red, blue, orange, it changes at will. The technique serves the game. Via mobile or ordinary telephone, every person intervening changes for a given moment the landscape seen by all. The point of light breaths, pulsates, lives at the rhythm of the phone calls.

A computer set up in the Kuklos restaurant at the summit of the Berneuse plays the role of call centre. It takes all calls and controls the sequences. Linked to the Rnis network, it vocally informs each user of the rules of the game; it identifies the chosen colours and transmits them to the light generators. The four generators are set up around the edifice and project the same colour onto the faces seen by the public.

Phone : 00 41 (0)24 494 11 11