BIX Media Facade
Communicative display skin for the Kunsthaus Graz
realities: united conceived, designed and realised a 900 m2 large media installation made of light rings for the facade of the Kunsthaus Graz. BIX – the title of the installation – was mounted beneath the acrylic glass surface of the building facing the river and city centre. It can be seen as an urban screen: a new instrument and platform for artistic production. The Kunsthaus uses BIX to project its communicative aspect into public space.
BIX tunes the Eastern facade of the biomorphic Kunsthaus architecture with the help of 930 standard circular 40W fluorescent lights. Each lamp serves as a pixel, which can be controlled individually by a central computer. That way simple signs, images and films in low resolution can be generated over the whole Eastern front. realities:united’s main concern is not technology but the interaction between media, architecture and the activity of the Kunsthaus.
BIX functions as membrane between the museum and public space by which the Kunsthaus identifies and presents itself. However at the same time the communicating skin is also a potential working platform for art projects, which address the interaction between media and space.
Behind this skin realities:united has installed a field of neon lamps. The covered area is approximately 20 m high and 45 m broad. Each lamp is individually and infinitely adjustable. Luminosity can be varied between 0% and 100%. With the help of a digital control system schematic animations, graphics and alphabets can be displayed. A speed of 20 frames per second can be achieved. In this manner the unique blue “balloon” given by the architecture is transformed into a low resolution screen of an urban dimension.
Aesthetics arise through the dimension of the installation. BIX is formed to meet the structure of the building and is therefore itself an additional architectural element that replenishes the Kunsthaus: The light rings are integrated into the complex form of the architecture as flexible technical modules, while when looking at it as a whole the physical borders of the light field can never really be seen. A soft transition of the installation from the outer facade into the area of the entry hall lets the modules fade away at the sides. The installation is kept hidden behind the acrylic glass facade of the Kunsthaus. Only the activated pixels can be seen during broadcasting so that even then the margins of the installation are not always visible. BIX gives the impression that not a screen but the Kunsthaus itself renders images and pictures. The complete fusion between architecture and media technology defines a new standard.