Thursday, June 12, 2008

Flying Art in the Sky - Flogo

Currently, there is only one known piece of art on the moon… the Fallen Astronaut commemorative plaque left there at Hadley-Apennine landing site.

I remember one night years ago, driving in a convertible through Houston’s Hermann Park with John and our friends, Katy and Pierre. At one point, Pierre looked up at the full moon and said, “You know, CocaCola has just licensed the rights to advertise on the moon…” The rest of us were mortified….but it turned out to be true.

Google is currently working on a deal with Virgin Galactic to install a massive projection framework that will consist of tethered satellite units with a tiny compulsion systems to maintain position. A banner, approximately the size of four football fields, stretched between the units made of polyhedron plasma foils will create a giant projection lenses. Electronic frequencies sent to millions of cells will adjust color and opacity to create the equivalent of a slide show projection on the Moon’s surface. The display area will be visible to anyone, most viewers will be able to see large objects displayed but additional information like text, URL’s and smaller graphics will be visible with the use of binoculars or telescopes. The moon inventory will be available based on regions; splitting North America into zones plus global regions including several Asia Pacific regions, Europe and the Middle East. I, for one, don’t think the moon needs to be “improved” with advertising….but I do find the idea of art in the sky rather intriguing.

Enter one-time magician Francisco Guerra.....

When Guerra recently decided to float an idea he really pulled a rabbit out of the hat - a cloud-making machine that allows one to float ART in the sky! (Too bad it is commercial) ;-( .

The clouds, or 'Flogos', come in any shape you want, from Mickey Mouse to the Olympic rings. They are made of soap and gases, such as helium, which allow them to fly off and retain their puffy texture.

'They will fly for miles,' said Mr Guerra. 'They are durable so they last a while.'

Depending on the weather and the formula used, the Flogos can last from a few minutes to more than an hour.

They can fly up to 30 miles and go as high as four miles... but normally the little clouds level out at about 500ft.

His machines can pump out your flying art at a rate of one every 15 seconds.

The clouds can be made in 2ft. or 3ft. sizes but a 6f. generator is in the pipeline.

Current designs are only available in white but Mr Guerra plans to add colour options from next year.

Mr Guerra, whose US company Snowmakers creates weather effects for Hollywood movies, insisted Flogos are environmentally friendly because the soaps that make up the foamy shapes are plant-based.

'Eventually a Flogo just evaporates in the air. It does not pollute the skies,' he said.

'They're safer than mass balloon launches where the fragments pollute the environment and are dangerous to wildlife.'

The proto-clouds have also been cleared by the authorities of being a hazard to airplanes.

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Stacy Alexander