November 9, 1989 marked a momentous occasion—it’s when the Berlin Wall began to come down. At that time, East German officials announced that all German Democratic Republic citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. This was just the start of a nearly year-long process of German reunification, but November 9 has always been recognized as a milestone for the divided nation. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution, artist Patrick Shearn and his team at Poetic Kinetics created a massive kinetic installation that symbolizes this unification.
The artwork is called Visions in Motion and it was on display from November 4 to November 10, 2019. During this time, the 20,000-square-foot artwork spanned 450 feet in length at the Brandenburg Gate, which was the site of the former Wall. While Shearn’s piece mimics the shape of the previous division, his iteration takes flight. Comprising about 120,000 streamers of fabric—30,00 of which held handwritten messages from people in Germany and around the world—the colorful ripstop nylon floated in unison in the sky.
Visions in Motion looked to the voice of the German people as its inspiration. The weightlessness yet immense power of their words was symbolized as fluttering fabric, offering an important reminder for us now. “In light of the state of affairs in the world today,” Shearn said in a statement, “I feel it is a time to be bold, gather together with a unified voice, and throw our shared colors and our dreams skyward for the world to see.”
Artist Patrick Shearn and his team at Poetic Kinetics created a massive kinetic art sculpture to celebrate the 30th anniversary of German reunification that began on November 9, 1989.