Arjan Scherpenisse


Platform for massive, character-based communication using VGA monitors.

Description of Arjan Scherpenisse's graduation work.



3543650188_3caaa7b11f.jpg - Arjan Scherpenisse

Arjan Scherpenisse approaches his graduation work for the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, in a do-it-yourself way. The exhibited work is a result of a 5-month research process in which Arjan took control of the design and production of an industrial-strength end-product as an art form.

The work itself is a self-reflexive installation consiting of a long (25-80) line of VGA monitors, which are all connected. Each driven by a microchip, the monitors form a line of characters, like a giant lichtkrant in which each monitor is limited to displaying one character. The monitors are connected through self-designed and built "open" hardware. The work itself also reflects this openness: all wirings and microchips are exposed to the public's critical inspection.

The texts appearing on the monitors gives an insight into the software that is driving the installation. Texts appear, fragments of code, sometimes with personal comments of the maker. The codes appear and dissappear, meeting and avoiding eachother, in a playful way that is different each time. The rhythm of the movements is almost meditative and reflects the state of mind that is necessary to write this kind of software.

Viewing the installation, the spectator develops an intuitive understanding for the subjective way in which technology is created: doubts, improvisation, sudden insights and moments of doubt are displayed through the choreography and poetical contents of the texts. This way, technology becomes a human activity.

The work does not contain any secrets: all layers of code and hardware were designed, produced and published by the artist, or consist of "open hardware", recycled material and open source components.