der dezentrale "Mini Switchoff"/
the decentral "Mini Switchoff"

Die scheinbar einfachste Art das Licht auszuschalten, ist, den Lichtschalter zu betätigen. Möchte man hingegen möglichst eine Gruppe, gar einer ganzen Kommune hierzu bewegen, ist diese Lösung der kumulierten "Mini-Switchoffs" alles andere als trivial. Diese „Performances“ im öffentlichen Raum hatten leider im zweiten Weltkrieg mit den nächtlichen Abdunklungen ein trauriges Vorbild. The apparently simplest kind to switch off the light is to operate the light switch. This solution is everything else as trivial if initiatives try to motivate a whole municipality to do thousands of this mini "switch off's". These "performances" in the public space have with the nocturnal darkening during the Second World War unfortunately a sad model.


Parallel to the world climate summit in Bali a large mini switch off campaign in Germany, Switzerland and Austria takes place. People are animated to "switch off the lights for our climate" on Saturday 2007 between 20 -20.05 pm MET. The campaign includes official buildings like the Dome in Cologne or the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin etc..

It is quite symptomatic that in Germany immediately the campaign was criticized to risk a crash of our electricity system (welt online). As well as “Earth Hour” last spring in Australia the campaign in Central Europe focuses on the symbolic act in the context of the climate change debate. Aesthetical implications and aspects of light pollution as discussed by the dark sky movement are not reflected by the campaign - no wonder when yellow press journals are included in that campaign.
Even Google switched the German entry page black.

A couple of hours later the United States will follow "Licht Aus" with their campaign "Lights Out America".

2 million Mini Switch Offs (AU)

Earth Hour in Syndey. On 31 March the people of Sydney were invited to turn off their lights for just one hour from7.30pm to 8.30pm. More than 2 million Sydney residents took part and caused a 10% drop in energy usage.
The scope of Earth Hours is ecologically oriented, but it has not so much to with light pollution. It is just the start of a campaign that aims to reduce Sydney's greenhouse emissions by 5% in 2007.

A cluster of Mini Switch Off 's

Nacht van de Duisternis/Belgium:The next edition of the night of darkness will be at 18 march 2005. That will be the 10the edition. Last time there where 162 participating municipalities on 308 and more then 50 activities.

Mini Switch Off as protest (A)

Blackout protest in Argentina: For half an hour from 8pm local time citizens turned off both home and outside lights. BBC 25.09.2002

Verdunkelung im Krieg/ Darkening in Wartime

Verdunkelung in Arenberg Die "Führung" hatte gleich zu Beginn des Krieges und unter Androhung schwerer Strafen "Verdunkelung" angeordnet. (ab 1.9.1939 Pflicht)

Luftangriffe auf Duisburg (kollektives Gedächtnis):  Aber vor die vielen kleinen Treppenfenster machte mein Vater kleine schwarze Rollos aus Papier, mit denen man sehr sorgfältig umgehen mußte.
Der 2. Weltkrieg, - erlebt als 11 bis 17jähriger in Hamburg(kollektives Gedächtnis):Mondschein war schon eine tolle Sache. Ansonsten musste man sich auf Gehör und Tastsinn verlassen.

Über Nachthimmel und Dunkelheit/ About the Nigth Sky and Darkness

London photographed from the ISS by Don Pettit
click on the picture to go to the conceptional database of the "Switch Off" - project
concept: Tim Otto Roth
creation in July 2004