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Leipzig, inner ring road Conceptual light choreography: forty Opel and Wartburg cars, eighty drivers, and five radio transmitters
© Foto PUNCTUM Peter Franke/Stefan Hoyer

For the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Leipzig Monday demonstrations and the festival of lights, Aufbruch Leipzig - 20 Jahre Friedliche Revolution und Einheit Europas (The Awakening of democracy – The 20th Anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution and European Unity), architects, lighting designers, and artists were invited to engage a variety of media forms in staging a re-enactment of the peaceful revolution. For the duration of the festival that took place on October 9, 2009, the Leipzig inner ring road was closed to vehicle traffic and turned into a pedestrian zone open to the public.

The contribution to the festival by Susanne Weirich and Robert Bramkamp was the performance titled Sendersuchlauf (Channel Search), in which the drivers of forty parked cars flashed their headlights to the unique rhythms of five different radio transmitters, which remained hidden from public view. The drivers were instructed when to dim their lights, to activate break lights, and when to flash, etc. The staged tableau evoked the memories of Wartburg cars massed and abandoned at the Hungarian border, as well as associations of a desire for unlimited mobility. For a few hours an unexpected form of individual-collective light art was made tangible.

Concept/Realization: Susanne Weirich, Robert Bramkamp/ Sound: Silvio Naumann/ Speakers: Robert Bramkamp, Kristina Gödde, Jessica Páez, Wilma Renfordt, Susanne Weirich/ Production: BramkampWeirich GBR on behalf of Lichtfest Leipzig 2009
Artistic director: Jürgen Meier / LTM (Leipziger Tourismus und Marketing GmbH)