Fronting Motion

The presentation at Esther Klein Gallery; Philadelphia; USA

An internet based artwork by Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum May 1 2014 – ongoing

Use Chrome browser to experience this project if possible on two computer screens. Then go to:
• [Southampton harbour data stream]
• [ANPR camera data stream]

Poetic description
Imagine yourself standing between two screens. Sound is all around you: you hear cars approaching, while from your back you hear the sluggish blowing of a sea tankers horn sounds, distant gulls? Everywhere you hear this other, constant noise. Is it the sea you hear or is it the sound of a highway? There is no way to distinguish other than by seeing or imagining, because both are in E flat as the Dutch poet Henk Ester claims*.
Meanwhile on the front screen the upbeat swelling of lights make you want to get out of the way, whilst the horizontal scrolling bars behind you, combined with its meditating sound keep you clamped to the ground. There’s no escape…

Artistic Motivation
Knowing where you are (or where others are) is of major importance with all different kinds of registration tech around us: gps, smartphones, rfid, near field, ANPR, surveillance cameras, face and emotion recognition, Facebook, Foursquare, Hangouts etc. The project addresses these changes in the techno society we as humans face now.

visualLaptop Installatie

Experiencing the work in a gallery space
Experiencing the work at home


Practical description.
“Fronting Motion” consists of two screens and two surround soundscapes (automatically converted to stereo if applicable) facing each other. The work is based on two streams of live data: one coming from number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras along the A354, Dorchester-Weymouth, while the other stream will origin in the vessel tracking system around the Nearby Southampton harbour, both in the UK. Both data streams will be translated into a surround sound stream and a corresponding visual stream. Each stream will be broadcasted through its own url, which makes the piece technically very simple to present and flexible to any given space: it could be exhibited as black box installation for art spaces, but also on two combined screens, of various sizes (computers, smartphones, pads, outdoor projection). Thus combined, the two streams create a multiphonic soundscape with two video screens: 1 screen plus surround/stereo represents the traffic flow on land, the other screen plus surround/stereo sound represents the traffic flow at sea.

Tech specs


The installation is designed so that it easily can be presented in several forms, depending on duration of the presentation, available space and presentation equipment. The work will be available internationally for exhibition and other presentation formats from May 1 2014 on.
If you are interested in presenting this work you can contact booking agent Mart van Bree through email or phone (+31 6249 77775).


-July 18 – August 16, 2014 University City Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery. Open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday, 3600 Market Street Philadelphia. An opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, July 24 from 6 – 9 p.m.
-13 – 23 May, Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset, UK (presentation on two screens with stereo sound)
-17 May Car(bon)Mart 10.30am – 2pm (hands on explanation on how to experience the project at home)
-Guildhall Square Southampton, Public projection 13 – 15 June (presentation in two sea containers during „Internet of Cars” conference)

“Fronting Motion” has been realized in collaboration with:

Internet of Cars – A Distributed Exhibition
Produced by The Sixth Sense Transport, a EPRSC Energy / Digital Economy funded project.

The presentation at John Hansard Gallery; Southampton; UK as part of Internet of Cars

Directors from 6ST for Internet of Cars:
Dr Tom Cherrett, Transportation Research Group, University of Southampton;
Dr Chris Speed, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh;
Consultant Curator and Project Manager Helen Sloan, Director, SCAN for providing us with the AIS data of ships passing Southampton harbor; Stokroos Fund Netherlands for additional funding.

Arno Peeters, sound
Peter Robinett, coding
Arjan Scherpenisse coding


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