A new presidency of the Council of Ministers brings a makeover to the atrium of the Justus Lipsius building, the Council's headquarters in Brussels.
A piece of art designed by Irish artist Andrew Kearney has been hung from the atrium ceiling. It looks like a large white airship, but the Irish government describes it as an “interactive and innovative art piece... [that] embodies Irish warmth and character while showcasing the innovation and developed technology of contemporary Ireland”.
The piece is called Skylum (which perhaps means that someone who goes to see it is a Skylum seeker). It is fitted with a camera, artificial intelligence technology and ultrasonic directional speakers so that when people walk underneath it, the lights and sounds vary. An Irish government official said: “The piece is ever-changing and reacting so that no two experiences will be the same.”
Passers-by (or should that be passers-underneath?) have a choice of subliminal messages to draw. The first is that you should not expect constancy or consistency from Ireland's Council presidency. The second is that the Irish presidency will be adept at improvising a response to whatever arises.
The choice is yours, depending perhaps on your own national character.