[Image: Bullet Lights, by Edwin Gardner].
Thanks to Bryan Finoki, I’ve discovered Bullet Lights, a proposal by Edwin Gardner.
Throughout Beirut, we read, there are uncountable thousands of bullet holes, small punctures in the walls of the city; these are architectural signs of “past violence, conflict and war.”
The idea behind Bullet Lights, then, is to reverse “the meaning and experience” of the city’s wounded walls by flooding them with light from within: the shells of old buildings, damaged by war, become chandeliers – Gardner’s “unexpected poetic moments of beauty.”
It is through damage that the buildings can shine.
There’s an old Coil song, called Titan Arch, that includes the line: “His wounds are shining” – which would be completely irrelevant to this post were it not for the fact that: 1) I’ve sometimes imagined scars – the healed remnants of wounding – as a kind of earthly astronomy, injurious constellations burning new white windows through the skin; and 2) that’s exactly what Gardner’s buildings would do for Beirut: they’re scarred, showing that the wounded have a brighter light within.
(Other trips through Beirut on BLDGBLOG: Future Beirut and beirut.bldg).
3 thoughts on “Wounded architectures shine”
this strikes me as somewhat eery, and kind of leads better to satire than hope. At least in my own person. Maybe it’s just my huge convoy of misgivings about the way people have been going about things politically in that region. It is as it is however, and the piece can’t really have a pessimistic effect.
At first, I can’t imagine how one would approach the building’s owner. Does one say, “I just love what you did with those bullet holes! Can I light them from inside to make the building a chandelier?” To someone that had lost their loved ones in the building it might seem very disrespectful. On the other hand, I can see this as a beautiful tribute to the dead and injured. It seems that you would have to approach a project like this from the human side. Approaching it from the building and architecture side seems trivial and immature.
This reminds me of a Walter Kirn short story of his Mormon youth group leader trying to teach his charges about how evil masturbation is by having each boy keep a j/o log by drawing stars on a calendar with glow-in-the-dark ink. Obviously, when they turned off the lights to compare notes, it was like the cloudless skies of Montana.
warped, I know.