Back to a blob

I’ve been in the library basement again today, testing 40-odd monitors that Claire delivered. Given their filthy state, fresh from a recycling plant, surprisingly few were broken with just a couple showing no signs of life at all. I quite enjoy scrawling “dead” across the front, like I’m working in CRT triage in the great monitor wars.


Along with those provided by the library, here’s my inventory:

  • Working Monitors: 28
  • Untested monitors (need VGA cables): 7
  • Unsure monitors (VGA sockets need fixing): 3
  • Interestingly broken monitor (for Antonio to play with): 1
  • Dead monitors: 4

That gives me 35-ish to be going on with. My current sketch for what I want to do says I need 36 for the main part and another 32 for a second plan, so I’m on target to have something up there. (Getting more monitors is not a problem, btw, and I expect to have more by next week. The main concern is PCs, though it should be all in hand.)

The sketch, which only really exists in my brain because I don’t have the skills to put it down on paper, looks like some kind of mutated blob from a Japanese Anime. It’s a round-ish black shape made of cardboard and duct tape about 12ft across and 10ft high. Poking out of this blob are 6ft tubes which latch onto the window at and around eye level. Folk looking through these will see the animations running.

The same sort of thing will be repeated along the rest of the window though these will resemble the seaside viewing machines I mentioned before. I want this whole section to be something you have to peer in and view exclusively, that personal connection between the work and the viewer.

A trip to the carpet sellers on Stirchley High Street is in order, I think.

The second idea is something I’ve been thinking of since the beginning – some kind of wall, inspired by Nam June Paik‘s map of the USA which Antonio showed me.


I’m planning on stealing this idea outright, working with four areas of Birmingham – North, South, East and West. I’m thinking this should go along the back wall so it lights up the whole room at night.

To power this I’ve found some cheap 1:8 VGA splitters on eBay and have ordered a couple. If they work I’ll have do four sets of 8 monitors. More thinking needs to happen here though, so I’ll come back to it later.

I’m very aware that I haven’t actually created any of the work itself yet. I’m hoping to make some final decisions about the structures this weekend and then get out with the camera next week.

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