Today's Demented Genius Award, irregularly bestowed by Yours Truly, goes to César Saëz and Antoon Versteegde, the conceptual artists behind a proposal to build and launch a 30-meter-long banana-shaped blimp 30 to 50 km into the airspace above the state of Texas. Yes, that's right, a giant banana in the sky. Thanks to Boing Boing for alerting us.
Understandably, many folks question the feasibility of the project, not so much from an engineering standpoint as from an FAA standpoint--the airspace over any state is carefully regulated by federal authorities, and even the most whimsical aircraft must operate in compliance with its regulations. They'll have some fancy negotiating to do before Texas will bend the rules for art's sake.
Even if the banana never makes it off the ground, the project's Web site is a fine piece of post-surrealist conceptual art in its own right. So yes, its creators still get the Demented Genius Award even if their scheme is a joke or is never seen to, uh, fruition.
Saëz characterizes his urban--and someday, stratospheric--art installations as "ephemeral and harmless," as one might think of a huge piece of phallic fruit drifting around up in the heavens. Versteegde specializes in large-scale, temporary interactive sculpture that creates spontaneous "spatial experiences" for viewers in a public place. Many conceptual artists stick to a city plaza or a museum foyer. Is the wild blue yonder the new canvas of the installation artist?
Team Banana is calling for "mathematicians and cultural critics, engineers knowledgeable on bamboo structures, and scientists experimenting with inertia propulsion." Oh yes, and a million dollars. Do you have, or are you personally, one of those items? Then you might be interested in taking part in the creation of the Geostationary Banana Over Texas.