Aleksandra Mir

Plane Landing

WARWICKSHIRE—Mir's vision centers on the creation of a purpose-designed helium balloon in the shape and size of a passenger jet plane. Suspended above the ground in a permanent state of landing, the plane will have its world premiere at Compton Verney against a quintessentially English backdrop, before embarking on a global tour to other 'picture postcard' destinations. Plane Landing is an event: the production of the balloon, its travel to new destinations, the inflation, its 'landing' and the documentation of all these parts constitute the artwork

Plane Landing is based on a simple conceit, where the primitive technologies of balloon travel masquerade as a high-tech jet plane, yet its engineering presents more than one fundamental paradox: how to make a balloon, using material that is lighter than air, in the shape of an object which was originally designed to carry over 400 tonnes of steel; how to balance a balloon in the form of a cross, when the perfect shape to sustain the elements is a sphere; how to tether the plane firmly to the ground, when its perfect aerodynamic shape will want it to fly. These are challenges faced by leading balloon manufacturers Cameron Balloons of Bristol and as such have taken the project out of the realm of aesthetics and into the fields of science, aeronautics, engineering and design

Michael Stanley, Commissioner, Compton Verney, 2003