UBC | Digital Visions
Digital Visions
View site
The 12hr-ISBN-JPEG Project

As news media continues to permeate of all aspects of western society, it now makes up a large portion of an individual received daily stimuli. A basic cable package now offers two or three dedicated news channels, while the Internet offers a limitless amount of news resources. With the exponential improvements in communication processing and speed through modern technology, the information that media delivers is now updated in real-time, with news reports arriving shortly after an event has taken place.

Such rapid delivery of substantial amount of information available to the individual has serious implications on how society begins to view the news media phenomenon. With so much exposure, people are becoming neutral to this information. As news reports are being broadcast constantly on several television channels, numerous Internet news services as well as online email and search websites, they take up an extensive portion of a viewer's time. This mass of information can overload and desensitize the individual, to the point that individual news reports blend together into an incoherent clump of data. As news becomes more and more available, its worth is starting to deflate. Because of the availability of information, the value of a single news report has never been lower.

<event>, by Michael Takeo Magruder, offers the audience a five by seven grid of clickable pixilated images, appearing much like television screens in a store display. When an image is selected, it changes to a full size visual display with a headline caption. The screesize visual display with a headline caption. The screen changes automatically to broadcast news report, accompanied by audio. A text version of a BBC report is presented to the viewer, with the block of text simultaneously acting as a projection screen for a video version of the same report. An audio narration by a newscaster runs in tandem.

While the combination of these elements: text, audio and video, is easily understood to be a news report, the contents of the report are hard to discern. The text projection screen makes it hard to see the video, as a large portion is obscured by dark spaces between words and letters. As the video projects on the text, it changes the text color, obscuring and confusing the written message to the point of illegibility. The audio running in the background is no easier to understand, as it is fragmented, muddled and interrupted by static.

The resulting mosaic is visually engaging, but the report loses its meaning. As the information is separated into its three sensory channels (video, text and audio) and combined again, the sum of the parts becomes less than their original whole. The individual channels lose meaning and coherence, and become further convoluted in combination. Different reports, although unique in content, begin to look the same, as none are easily readable.

next 1 | 2
Site: http://www.takeo.org