In this permanent installation, 117 large LED alphanumeric units are mounted in a 13 x 9 grid on the front-facing wall of the stage tower of the Stadstheater in Zoetermeer, Netherlands.
Like on a conventional news sign, textual information scrolls through these alphanumeric elements. But because the units are spaced quite far apart from one another, the projected information becomes deconstructed into a sculptural and polysemous image whereby animated particles of words and sentences appear to weave in and out of the facade.
The users of the Stadstheater can program this sign, taking titles and texts from performances that are being presented in the theater. In this way the sculpture radiates fragments of texts from the current stage productions to viewers outside, and makes the building porous to a transfer of information from inside out.
A 20-metre high column on the Europaweg—one of main highway entrances to inner Zoetermeer—carries another vertical group of 9 cylindrical LED alphanumeric units. This signpost mediates between the highway lighting and the cultural discourse embodied in the Stadstheater display. A similar installation was later made in Karlsruhe for the ZKM Aussenkennung (1997).
Another component of this commission for the Stadstheater is a series of contact speakers that are attached to the main façade windows. Passers-by can press their ears against these windows and hear the live sounds of whatever is being performed on the stage inside. This installation is an iteration of a concept first developed in Sonus Lux (1987).