CBK asked for proposals for an artwork set in three large concrete picture frames situated on the blind wall of the new Mediamarkt on the Beijerlandselaan. The artwork should make a connection between the building and the multi-cultural atmosphere of this colourful street on the south bank of Rotterdam.
Toine Horvers and Paul Cox proposed Beijerkoppen, which consists of a set of screens turned into a live and real-time portrait gallery. They proposed to install in each of the three large concrete frames a full-color video LED display. The displays show real-time fragments from news broadcasts, where the news presenter is isolated in the picture. When the news broadcast switches to another imagery (report or other images), the display changes and shifts to another television station that is airing, at that moment, a news broadcast with a newsreader in the picture. Aside from presenting the 'talking heads' of news readers from all over the world, on 3 x 3,5 meter screens, in almost real-time, passers-by should be able to hear the news readers' national voices.
Although the composition of the image of a news broadcast is largely the same everywhere, there are still subtle differences that determine the character and, with it, the identity of the broadcast from a certain country or culture. Next to the characteristics of race or nationality of the newsreader, visual elements like backgrounds, picture color or quality, attributes and additional elements such as a clock or a –running- text bar are also determining factors.
For this project, V2_ developed the software and search engine, which continuously searches and generates images of news broadcasts from the digital supply of international TV-channels on the web. Special software determines the right crop, size and composition of the picture before it appears on one of the displays. The sound of the news broadcasts is made audible through small loudspeakers positioned in the frame. Due to the differences between the duration of the news fragments and to the uniformity of the visual composition, a portrait gallery will arise in an uninterrupted and smooth, yet irregular, movement. Passers-by from different countries and cultures will be able to recognize, at certain moments, their television stations and hear their own language.
The Beijerkoppen project is developed in collaboration with V2_Lab (Jan Misker and Artm Baguinski) and Carlo Prelz (programming). Special thanks to Geert Mul for using his Matching algorithm.
Beijerkoppen by Toine Horvers and Paul Cox (2012) from V2_ on Vimeo.
The first prototype of the Beijerkoppen project was presented live by the artists and the V2_development team during Test_Lab: Urban Screen Savers on May 20, 2010.
More at http://www.toinehorvers.nl/toinehorvers/cms/cms_module/index.php?obj_id=808#