The Berlin-based project agency realities united has been working more than two years on a new digital facade for the new Kunsthaus Graz in Austria. The city of Graz is Europe‘s Cultural Capital 2003 and has therefore decided to spend a few bucks on modern art.
The result is called BIX and although I haven‘t seen it myself a look at the current press photography shows that the group seems to have succeeded in building a really cool and nice looking installation.
I have been following the project for a while and I know they have been going through a lot of technical and political difficulties. In the end, they seem to have found a solution to both problem domains. This saturday, September 27th, the new installation will finally be opened.
On the technical side, the set up is made of „a field of approximately 900 standard, circular fluorescent light tubes which are integrated into the biomorphic facade structure of the new Kunsthaus“. They can dim the lights and of course there is software behind that allows playback of movies.
I am a bit disappointed they didn‘t choose the Blinkenlights software that is available as GPL and provides everything you might need: a file format, a protocol and open interfaces. Instead they followed a MAX/MSP based approach. You can download a simulator for Mac OS X if you like. I hope in the end there will be a gateway to support Blinkenlights movies as well.