It may sound like a fake, but it is true. The Geostationary Banana Over Texas project is an 'art intervention' by César Saez, Montreal artist.
This César Saez is a funny guy. Many odd art installations born in his brain, for example colouring the water in Louvre's fountains or releasing a fleet of inflated white crosses into the Montreal skies. This time he would like to launch a 300 meter helium blimp in the shape of a banana, 30-50km over Texas. The expected launching date is August 2008 from around Baja or Sonora , north-west of Mexico.
Ground observers will be able to see the airship; Saez estimates it will appear 10 percent to 20 percent the size of the moon.
The gigantic banana will be constructed of bamboo and paper and filled with helium. Actually, it won’t be a geostationary banana (though undeniably sounds good), because the blimp will neither circle the equator nor reach the 'Clarke Belt' -- approximately 35,786 km above sea level.
Technically, the banana is not the latest invention. It will (hopefully) steer itself with the help of propellers and wind-activated gyroscopes, each rotating on a different axis. As the gyroscopes wobble, they'll whirl the banana in a boomeranglike trajectory.
After about a month, radiation from the sun will peel our banana, helium leaks out and the blimp starts to descend. As the airship falls down, friction intensely damages it before landing.
Among Texans opinions are divided. Some people claim that giant floating bananas are art. Others say that Canadians should put their banana in their own country. A number of persons are suspicious: that can be a perfect opportunity to nuke Texas.
As for the numbers, it will cost about $1 million, and so far he's raised one-eighth of that, including a $15,000 grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. So some said the money should have been spent on something else.
A banana is a symbol. It can symbolize anything, or it can symbolize that it doesn't symbolize anything. It is simple, useless and absurd. It is banal. A banana appearing in the Texas sky might seem like a message -- says Saez. But what does this exactly mean? Some humour to the Texas sky? A joke to stupidity? A meaningless vision? Does this refer to something, for example American politics or advertisement industries? Why is it exactly in Texas? You can guess.
Imagine a romantic evening under the stars and… a giant bananana?! I am sure that Douglas Adams would burst into laughter seeing this, and aliens will roar with laughter, too. We hope that nobody will shoot down the banana.