Visual poems exposed on LCD screens in Holland

Not all efforts succeed.

This is an a competition entry for art in the Public space.
It did not win. But the idea remains impressive.

Project PAx database



With a nod of approval Mayumi presses enter and the images of the visual poem “rain” uploads onto the PAx database. This entry will be part of a collection of 24 visual poems from all over the world and will be displayed on TV screens in 4 public places.

In the mean time Ted is waiting for the tram in the station of Rotterdam. It has been raining on and off. Impatiently he stares at the tram announcement board. Eight long minutes. A quiver of light from a flat screen panel diverts his attention. On the wall opposite the tram track are three large LCD screens forming a triptych. Still images are subtly overlaid with new ones. Repetition of forms and colours form coherence in the motion of the images changing from one to the other. A tram turns in to the station. AS if spellbound, Ted climbs into the tram and watches the 3 panels until the rain on the window panes fragment the images into a billion stars.

Tokyo: 5 artists group around a PC terminal. They have been testing the final images of their poem and the moment has come for the submission. With a nod of approval Mayumi presses enter and the images of the visual poem “rain” uploads onto the PAx database. This entry will be part of a collection of 24 visual poems from around the world and will be exposed on the PAx triptych in 4 public locations in Holland.
From an other time zone Juan logs into the administration panel of the PAx database. The city of Utrecht has assigned him to select next weeks sequence of images for the PAx. From a broad theme board Juan can choose many combinations, but he has chosen to search for images sequences with the key word “butterfly”.

The PAx commission in The Hague has gone for a local choice allowing SMS user to choose 30 sequences for this week viewing.

The physical and software motors behind PAx is not very much different from any other images database system, that collects images, resizes them to desired formats, collects data, and has a forum. But what is different is that it takes the images out of the PC and places them straight into the view of the public by means of LCD screens. The INPUT of the images sequences are created and designed by artists interacting through the PAx web based forum.


The mission and image of PAx


PAx aims to uplift awareness of Art culture in the public domain across a spectrum of age, nationality, and profession. This is to be achieved by the exposure of images that have resulted through an exchange of ideas between artists.


A “hands on” public window to a “global think-do tank” for the creation of images for a public domain.


Input and Output


We want artists to be involved in a dialog to make sequences of images for the public domain. Images can be new media, or digitised paintings, collages, drawings and so. A guideline to the type of images are those that reflects a sense of peace and tranquillity, which will vitalise the public space where the LCD triptych is installed.
Groups can be formed by means of the PAx internet forum, Academies, workshops, art projects, mail art, and others. By collaborating with people from different countries, exchanging ideas, pushing physical boundaries expanding limits, we find ourselves designing paths wider than the personal story of one artist. .
(An example (link stopped) of an internet magazine)


By means of keywords, descriptions and themes the PAx internal search engine can find and assemble lists of images. It is up to the administrator of the local PAx system to determine who makes the lists, this can be done through the PAx web site, SMS, or appointing specific groups (local schools, clubs, business, artists).

Once a list had been made the computer sends the images to the display units, each consisting of a PC with a connection to a LCD TV screen. The display unites can be set up in stations, city halls, airports, hospitals… People at home or in the office may also display their own list by displaying them on their computer screens like “slide shows” screen savers.


Content spin off

  1. Light emitted from the PAx triptych will improve the physiological and the physical “feel” of a public space
  2. PAx provides a much-demanded professional global exhibition platform (free from any form of discriminations) for artists.
  3. Gives artists a tool that allows for the development and expansion of defining new images for a public domain.
  4. Involves the people with the cultural creation of our time. iste not longer exits

jury comments

Max Bruinsma

Public comments Interesting attempt at producing ‘public art’. Apart from the fact that editorial questions like moderation and interaction criteria are not addressed, it gives a glimpse of how we can link private, collaborative and public spaces in an aesthetically rewarding way. Potentially a soothing alternative for the ubiquitous advertising billboards.

Sally Jane Norman

Public comments VISUAL POEMS LCD screens set up in public locations are used to display various kinds of art work, created and designed via the PAx web-based forum and uploaded to public spaces in keeping with commissioning mechanisms used by local PAx administrators (soliciting individual artists, calling on schools or organisations, implementing collaborative international platforms, allowing SMS users to select available sequences from an image bank, etc.). The project is simple and direct in its goals, which consist of demarcating and investing specific, designated display spaces for electronic, web-mediated visual artworks. Inclusion of specific display spaces for artists is considered necessary to heighten general public awareness of art culture and, conversely, to engage visual artists more directly with the general public. The project revolves around a demand for heightened and broadened artistic and cultural sensibility, by targeted use of public space. Display technologies are considered to be potentially able to enhance public space, and to extend artists’ possibilities to exhibit their work. This in turn is likely to acquaint a broader public with contemporary artistic creation.

Anne Nigten

Public comments

The visual poems (hopefully indeed with sms interaction options) seems an appropriate format to use the displays for those in city transit. Although not sensational I think this can contribute to peoples creativity and imagination while waiting for their public transport or so. The format is overview able, and exist so rather realistic and good to have networked artist communicate their work via this very accessible way with their audience.

Derrick de Kerckhove

Public comments

This is a very nice idea, but as unfixed artworks go, it is perhaps better directed at art galleries than at entirely public spaces. It also requires a disproportionate amount of technical and labour infrastructure for the overall effect. Perhaps something better geared at large international fairs and exhibits than at permanent city locations. Of course one does not exclude the other.

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