'The idea behind the Telescope is simple, but difficult to carry out technically, says Volkmar Umlauft, author of the project. 'The internal layer consists of sixty monitors, and the end internal wall is an interactive panel, which is a connection with the other city. Inside, there are six cameras. In Berlin, visitors can see the surroundings of the Wroclaw train station, by-passers and diverse architecture. You can see even Sky Tower in the background,' explains the author. 'On the other hand, residents of Wroclaw will be able to see what the surroundings of the station Friedrichstrasse look like.
'Telescope is a project, in which we want to draw attention to the need of bringing Poles and Germans together,' says Jan Wais from the Wroclaw Office of International Cooperation. 'It neatly blends in the programme "European Neighbourhood", carried out on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Treaty On Good Neighbourhood, signed by Poland and Germany.'
The Telescope, though it allows a peek into Wroclaw and Berlin, is unlike a traditional device. It is a dome, six metre high and twelve metres in diameter. Inside is a tunnel panelled with screens, which show a real-time view of the surrounding twin installation in the second city and a panel for interactive contact using gestures, words, and text messages. The German part of the Telescope already stands in Berlin, and the Wroclaw one is now under construction.
'Telescope is not only about taking sneak peeks into another city. It is an attempt to connect people with similar interests,' explains Volkmar Umlauft. 'On both sides of the Telescope we will organize a number of cultural events, such as jam sessions, book presentations, discussions, activities for children and youth.'
The Telescope is an initiative of the Foundation Zukunft Berlin in the framework of the project Recovered Neighbourhood. It is a part of the event In Between Festivals, i.e. a year-round cooperation between Wroclaw and Berlin.
'Location of the Telescope by Wroclaw main railway station also has a broader context, because it reminds that from April 30 the Culture Train will operate between Berlin and Wroclaw,' reminds Katarzyna Młyńczak-Sachs Capital of Culture.
The Telescope will be available until 3 July.