During brief lulls in CNN's wall-to-wall coverage of Anna Nicole Smith, we try imagining the complex of rooms from where the Super-Versailles might be monitored and controlled in real-time.
Could they be cavernous, hermetically sealed, climate controlled, an ambience of hard drives whirring and clicking, the smells of days-old coffee and hot rubberized circuitry mixing with endlessly recycled, zealously filtered air, entombed inside a mountain?
Or the opposite of everything imagined above?
Thankfully, the wonderful, if unfortunately non-English, blog Approximation points us to Barco, a Belgian company which specializes in designing and developing solutions for large-screen visualization. A leader in professional markets, so we are told, they have equipped the control rooms of NASA, traffic management centers, national power grids, broadcast studios and military combat rooms. They also outfitted the FIFA World Cup international media center, which served an audience numbering in the billions.
And they even supplied the LED technology for Millennium Park's Crown Fountain.
So from multiple case studies found on their website, it becomes easier to visualize the control room of our very own Super-Versailles. Wall-to-wall cinematics, endless streams of numbers, thousands of hours of hydrological voyeurism saved for the archives or for later viewing and efficiency analysis. Beyond what Warhol ever imagined. In fact, Barco may have one-upped him, John Cage, Nam June Paik, and Alfred Hitchcock.
And among all the trillions of electrified pixels, a lone landscape architect — perhaps he's a descendant of Arnold de Ville or Harold N. Fisk, but definitely has watched Dr. Strangelove and The Matrix Reloaded one too many times — meticulously tracks the migration of a single water molecule: from that first dangling raindrop from a Category 5 hurricane all the way to its first contact with the earth, and then through its frothy journey from rivulets to streams to rivers to cataracts to reservoirs to the fountains of Rome.
Because he has to; the Super-Versailles must follow the script absolutely.
Of course, since he reads too much BLDGBLOG, he'll program scenarios of miniscule critical systems failures. For fun, he'll flood a street or two; drain the Trevi Fountain for a day just to piss off tired, sweaty tourists; and trap honeymooning couples on a Disney cruise ship in the Panama Canal. Mildly inconsequential events of topographical hysterics to pass the hours away.