Test_Lab: Urban Screen Savers: Event Report

Posted: May 27, 2010 at 4:44 pm  |  By: julianabrunello  |  Tags: , , , ,

Test_Lab: Urban Screen Savers

20 May 2010, 20:00- 23:00 hrs, V2_, Eendrachtsstraat 10, Rotterdam

The interactions between the urban space as means of artistic expressions and the dilution of such intervention by commercialization of such spaces was explored and critically examined in the Test Lab. Six live demonstrations by artists:

Michelle Teran: Black Leather Projection Purse/ Projects for a city. Girona

Posted: May 27, 2010 at 4:35 pm  |  By: julianabrunello  |  Tags: , , , ,

Test_Lab: Urban Screen Savers @ V2_ Rotterdam

Report by Srividya Balasubramanian

Michelle Teran (CA) performs, exhibits and lectures in topics ranging from collaborative art, street projections and urban intervention, exploring and illuming the inherent tension between the public and the private. In the two works that she presented at Test_Lab, she aims to brings into attention to the effects of situational permission on the idea of implied security and stability.

The first work, Projects for a city. Girona (2008) was inspired by the Georges Perec’s vision of facade-less Parisian apartment, whose interiors are made visible. The work itself was an actual performance where various interior spaces were projected on the buildings along River Onyar, Girona through the span of a few hours on one night. The first segment was a selection of videos made by the artists and residents of Girona, while the second segment was the projection of live video from inside the kitchen of a restaurant on to the street. As the people in the kitchen directed the attention of the viewers to the most happening parts of the kitchen, Teran described that in this way, they became the producers, directors and performers of their action.

The second project, the Black Leather Projection Purse (2006) is a street performance object. The modified ladies purse with handheld projector is connected to a battery that allows one to walk through the city, intercept its live surveillance and project on its architectural surfaces. The projected video, which greatly resembled a peephole view, gave it a voyeuristic touch.

Following the presentation of her works, Teran brought up some topics for discussion, mainly the notion of the cityscape as a skin; a site for the projection and intervention by artists. She also put forth questions on situational permission and privacy, and the course of action before and after one's absence of privacy is revealed.

Michelle Teran at V2_

Michelle Teran at V2_

Link to Teran's webpage with more information on her works, click here

Link to the Flickr photostream of Projects for a city.Girona, click here

Matthais Oostrik: Bijlmer Moodwall/ E4 MotionWall

Posted: May 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm  |  By: julianabrunello  |  Tags: , , , ,

Test_Lab: Urban Screen Savers @ V2_ Rotterdam

Report by Srividya Balasubramanian

Matthias Oostrik (NL)is an artist trained in interaction media from the Nederlands Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam, whose artworks focus primarily on the dialog between human presence and technological interventions, particularly, the discovery and exploration of its own presence by the interacting body. His interactive installation E4.1 Bijlmer Moodwall (2009)is installed at a tunnel in the Amsterdam Zuid-Oost (South-East) district and won the Dutch design award for best product in the public domain. Originally conceived as the Motionwall (2007), one of his earlier creations, the Moodwall was adapted for a lower resolution screen at the Bijlmer under the commission of Urban Alliance. Both of the installations are screens that create colourful patterns revolved around the movements that are tracked in front of it.

At the Test_lab, Oostrik showed a demonstration of this first installation, and explained that the aim of creating the wall was to use the human body and its most basic functions: movements to develop a direct relationship between the audience and the art work (real body and the virtual body).

The installation is done with the help of a program called Quartz Composer that takes the live image of people in front and tracks the movement by subtracting each object position from its predecessor position. The motion is then blurred till the elements finally blend in to form a silhouette that is merged with colourful patterns and interactive sound.

Though the screen resolution at Bijlmer only allowed for a low resolution that compromised on the quality of the silhouettes, Oostrik remarked that one of the most interesting outcomes of the project was in how the wall allowed for new forms of interactivity and movements around the Moodwall to emerge. As the Moodwall installation did not react to movement towards the front of the screen but only to sideway movement, one of his audience told him that he needed to move around quickly parallel to the wall to make it react. As a curious note, he also added that the wall was used as a background to shoot several hip-hop videos that several peripheral activities like blogging (about the wall) helped in spreading the news and foster a positive sense of community around the Bijlmer area.

Oostrik's future projects also involve movements of the human body creating visuals on the screen, ideas of initiating an interaction and confronting people with themselves and their narcissism as the starting point of a dialog.

Matthais Oostrik at V2_

For more information on the Moodwall and other projects, click here

To watch some videoes and photos of the Moodwall/Motionwall in practice, click here

Toine Horvers and Paul Cox: Beijerkoppen

Posted: May 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm  |  By: julianabrunello  |  Tags: , , , ,

Test_Lab: Urban Screen Savers @ V2_ Rotterdam

Report by Juliana Brunello

Toine Horvers (NL) and Paul Cox (NL) have been working together at a project called Beijerkoppen, which is still being developed and improved. The project has already had its debut on a wall of the new Media-markt at Beijerlandselaan, Rotterdam. The main aspect of this work is the multiculturalism represented by three simultaneous portraits of newsreaders from all over the world in near real-time. The fact that most TV newsreaders look straight into the camera while speaking a message makes this work interesting 24 hour live talking portraits. With the use of small loudspeakers, the passer-bys, when close to the portrait, can also hear the different languages that are being spoken at each screen/portrait.

Horvers and Cox at V2_

For this project V2 developed a search system that continuously scanns as many online TV stations as possible. However, the software still makes mistakes, which is why they are still working on it. The software should recognize only human faces, but sometimes something similar to a face is falsely recognized. A special software has also been developed in order to determine the right crop, size and composition of the picture before it appears on one of the displays. When asked about leaving the mistakes, as they could make the work more interesting, Horvers responded that he would not mind it being perfect, as it should "just be there" and "be what it is".

Even though the work is supposed to be set in public space, it worked very well at the V2 lounge. However, the connection between "old city" and "modern portraits" cannot be made under this situation.

Gunnar Green: the Parasite

Posted: May 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm  |  By: julianabrunello  |  Tags: , , ,

Test_Lab: Urban Screen Savers @ V2_ Rotterdam

Report by Cecilia Guida

Gunnar(DE) has demonstrated the project ‘Parasite’ by the Berlin-based collective TheGreenEyl.

The Parasite is an independent projection-system that can be attached to subways and other trains with suction pads, using the speed of the train as parameter for the projected content. The projection starts with the train moving inside the tunnels. To Gunnar these tunnels bear something mystic yet mundane, ‘most people usually have never made a step inside any of them,’ he says. ‘Parasite’ confuses the routine, habits and perception of the train-travelling-journe. The ‘parallel worlds’ - projected with ‘Parasite’ - allow the train traveller a glimpse into a different world full of surrealist imagery. Pointing out what it is outside to one who is sitting in the train is an original idea that stimulates people and also a creative way to fill the ‘empty’, boring time of the daily journey.

Green at V2_

I find that the videos are a really nice entertainment. To watch one of them, go here.

Oscar Steens: Art and News on Public Screens

Posted: May 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm  |  By: julianabrunello  |  Tags: , , ,

Test_Lab: Urban Screen Savers @ V2_ Rotterdam

Report by Cecilia Guida

Oscar Steens (NL) is the Special Guest of the program, who works for City Media Rotterdam, which is a key facilitator of urban screens in the city. Oscar is the editor-in-chief for those screens. In his presentation he has shown the prospective of the CMR and some success stories in their practice collaborating with various artists. The organization is really active in the city with many and diverse projects, such as the ‘Moving Newspaper’ and the ‘Moving Magazine’. It makes an innovative program that mixes journalistic and artistic practices with modern, digital technology. Video artworks are presented together with news from sport, economics, culture and entertainment. CMR has been broadcasting in the city for two years, 7 days a week, 18 hours per day, from large-scale screens in public spaces to smaller-scale spin-offs such as narrowcasting (for example in metro stations, libraries and city stores). The projects presented by Oscar are interesting for several reasons. First of all, for the fact that every resident of Rotterdam is called to participate in them, from artists, politicians, sportspeople, entrepreneurs to ‘ordinary citizens’ by sending texts and videos via e-mail, SMS and other applications. Secondly, they are very far reaching projects, as they broadcast different contents depending on the the size and the place where the screens are located, the people who watch them and on the moments of the day. One can also appreciate that CMR guarantees the quality and the independence of the public digital screens from financial and commercial purposes.

Mixing artworks and news is certainly creative and challeging, however I noticed a sort of similarity to the MTV’s style…

Green at V2_