Israeli artist Yossi Wallner’s viral street art project “Ctrl Alt Del” is one of the coolest projects and cleverer ideas we’ve seen in a while. Wallner has taken the common keys used in laptops and computer keyboards and installed these as buttons on walls, columns, and public infrastructure in his home city of Tel Aviv, in Israel. See photos below.
The re-contextualization of these familiar keyboard components, with their abbreviated function labels (Del, Esc, Wake, Power, etc.), imbue these objects with multiple meanings when in the public space, whether on a telephone pole, next to a security camera, in a leafy park or on a busy street.
What’s more, in these settings the buttons suggest some new kind of functionality whereby we can shape parts of the real world outside by pressing the same keys we use to change the words in an email or re-touch an image in Photoshop. Wallner poses the questions “What if the keyboards that we are buried in blindly all day could change your reality? If you could escape something by a push of an “Esc” button? Delete anything by a flick of a finger?”
The Tel Aviv installations are the first for this project, and Wallner is planning to create a website and a community of collaborators to put up keyboard buttons in cities around the world and submit photos of their installations to his site. We’d love nothing more that to walk down a street in Tokyo or New York a year from now and find one of his “Esc” keys on a wall.