The BIX light and media installation, designed for the façade of the Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria, by Jan and Tim Edler of the Berlin-based design studio Realities:United, has received a significant honor—a place in the Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) permanent Architecture and Design Collection. An early prototype at 1:1 scale of the light fixture will be displayed, which represents a single “pixel” on the Kunsthaus' media façade. Inclusion in the collection recognizes BIX's relevancy as one of the first integrations of architecture, media, and art.
The original installation, completed in 2003 (see architectural lighting, April/May 2004, pages 20–21) is composed of 930 light fixtures in 900 square meters of the façade, each fashioned from a 40W circular fluorescent tube secured behind translucent blue plexiglass panels. Each lamp is connected to a digital control system and individually controlled. The result is a communicative skin that displays programmed projections, animations, or messages at a speed of 18 frames per second as the graphics move across the façade.
BIX has received a number of awards and its illumination achievements have become the standard reference for media architecture concepts. In a press release, Jan and Tim Edler said, “We always regarded this work as an artist laboratory, i.e., one freed of commercial constraints, for researching suitable behaviors for an increasingly dynamizing architecture. In our view, BIX is more a process for developing a language than an artistic end product.”