A nybble is the unit of half a byte, or four bits, which is the basis of every digital conversion. As the numeric equivalent of binary code, it exemplifies the internal logic of software that transforms codes and protocols on a server into various representations.

Artist in Residence Project (EMARE) November - December 2002.

Nybble-Engine-Toolz is a group experiment revealing such processes by converting data on a hard disk (text, sound, images) into three-dimensional, abstract clips. Participants in the experiment are seated on a ‘sofa surfer’ in the installation‘s lounge. The colorful films/visualized data are displayed on a large 180 degree screen. Players use a joystick to log onto the installation’s network and enter the gaming environment, where Nybbles, action bots and other gamers are flying about. The experiment will eventually change the Nybble-Engine’s color.

The core of the installation is the Nybble-Engine itself  a network application based on existing software of an interactive game. Participants may log onto the game-Engine from a variety of locations, including the sofa, and are then assigned a place in the network. They navigate the game’s environment, bump into other players or the action bots (representations of server processes) and communicate with them via text messages. This generates network traffic, the server log files of which are routed to the game-Engine, where they serve as the raw material for the three-dimensional audiovisual displays of the installation. 

Nybble engine 2

The Nybble-Engine tool converts the data from the network traffic into graphic clips that are projected on the screen. In this way, the server processes become visible outside of the game-Engine and the visitors influence the software of the Engine, eventually causing it to change its appearance. As a whole, the installation illustrates the potential of communication technology to interact with digitally organized data and manipulate its outcome.

The complexity of Nybble-Engine-Toolz is explained in the installation itself in a playful manner. Inspired by the look of scientific laboratories in the fifties, a help desk has been designed where visitors can get more information about the experiment. Also, demo takes of the clips will be made and stored on the Nybble-Engine server. These archived data not only provide the necessary empirical support for the experiment’s outcome, but are also used as feedback to the experiment.

Nybble engine


  • Margarete Jahrmann
  • Max Moswitzer



Document Actions
Mailinglist: Subscribe to the English or Dutch version.

Follow usfacebook_16.png twitter_16.png youtube_16.png Favicon Vimeo googleplus
Related Items
Max Moswitzer

Max Moswitzer (AT) is an artist, specialized in 3D simulations and server design.

Margarete Jahrmann

Margarete Jahrmann (AT) is an artist and researcher.

Nybble-Engine-Toolz Mar 01, 2003 08:00 PM

A lecture concert for 3 people and seven action-bots, during the Museum Night 2003, with Margarete ...


A server-software-experiment developed as artist-in-resident project by Margarete Jahrmann and Max ...

Spielhalle, Dutch Electronic Amusement Fest Feb 25, 2003 01:00 PM

Exhibition organised by V2_, featuring artistic 'entertainment machines'.


Essay by Margarete Jahrmann about the artist-in-residence and software project ...

Jill Scott

Jill Scott (AU/DE) is a video and performance artist.

Andrea Polli

Andrea Polli (US) is a digital media artist and researcher.

Michael Pinsky

Michael Pinsky (GB) is an artist who explores the relationships between architectural spaces and ...

Sher Doruff

Sher Doruff (NL/US) is a digital artist-researcher in the performative arts.

Julien Maire in residence at V2_ and Transmedia Brussel Julien Maire in residence at V2_ and Transmedia Brussel

V2_ has initiated a new artist-in-residence program in which the V2_Lab will partner with art ...

Happy Doomsday!

"Happy Doomsday!" (1998-1999) is an interactive installation by Cãlin Dan. It was developed as an ...

Museumnacht Rotterdam 2003 Mar 01, 2003 08:00 PM

The opening of the DEAF03 exhibition took place during the Rotterdam Museumnight 2003.

What's Inside a Laptop? What's Inside a Laptop?

From February until April 2010, Brussels-based artist Herman Asselberghs will work in residence at ...

Spotlight: Open Pitch May 18, 2012 02:00 PM

Win an artist-in-residence at V2_! Pitch your project! During DEAF2012.

Projects Summer Sessions 2011 Projects Summer Sessions 2011

As the outside temperature rises, so does it rise inside the V2_Lab – the 2011 Summer Sessions ...

more ...
Personal tools
Log in