News & noise

16.062010 – 19.06.2010

Festival Shanghaï / Taïpei

World Expo 2010

Shanghaï China

Contemporary information is a sound, a kind of continuous vibration that spreads over the surface of our planet. Locals events, as they become globals, grow in the manner of waves that intermingle and disturb themselves, generating this « background noise », a kind of tinnitus which actually become an essential phenomenon in our society.


In a century, the physical paper of the daily press has been replaced by television broadcasting and news generated by real-time digital networks. So what we perceive now of information is more related to the technical nature of the diffusion device itself than the content of the message. The communication theorist Marshall Mac Luhan has resumed this situation with the famous slogan « The medium is the message ».


With the interactive artwork « News & noise », Active Creative Design confronts the public of an exhibition to the physical dimension of the mediatic noise. In the continuity of their previous creation « Jing », the project features a wall composed of a continuous vibration of chinese typefaces. Approching the wall, the public reveals in this typographical noise some human faces reciting a litany of news reports, both from Western and Asian cultures. As each face seems to talk to a particular person of the public, the information becomes personalized, finding its meaning through the one who delivers us. But the more people are using the system, the more faces are talking to people, and the more voices melt together, becoming incomprehensible, giving birth to a new level of noise.


This relation with the public is sometimes annoyed: a long presence of people finally generates unpredictable behaviours of the talking faces. Some began to laugh, some other to cry, some other to sing, before the wall finally comes back into the vibration of the typographical noise.


By this set of contrasts, « News & noise » presents itself as a questioning about the ability of informational systems to interact with the human dimension of the viewer. More broadly, the project examines what remains irreducibly human in a world that is defined primarily through the use of science and technology.

ActiveCreativeDesign (Kuei Yu Ho & Patrice Mugnier)

Dimensions :
880cm X300cm X 200cm

Sound design:
Raphaël Isdant

Materials :
4 projectors, screen, 8 speakers, computers

Software development:
Newbrain media design, Paris

Museum Of Contemporary Art, Taïwan

Find more informations on the project :