We ran across the LED sign on-line, where it was residing as a novelty in the living room of Canadian computer programmer Ian Mcghie. He and collaborator Dave Voorhis had connected the retro-style LED sign to an interface of their own design that registered messages from anybody who visited the LED site and wished to contribute a thought. Adding to it, a steady camera trained on the LED transmitted a new image back onto the internet every ten seconds. Thus, each typist and the entire world included got to see a picture of their thought materialized on the LED sign. These human expressions found a new form off-line for a profound moment, and ironically it was a moment that could only be contemplated when viewed on-line.
We asked McGhie if he and Voorhis would be interested in presenting the LED sign in the Goatsilk Gallery as an art project, whereby people could come watch it in person as well as engage with it on-line. The idea of mining the internet for projects that could take on different meaning inside of an art gallery was appealing to us, and we felt we could make a compelling statement about the nature of language—both spoken/written and the more precise background workings of computer language—through this sort of aesthetic display. We moved the sign from their living room to our gallery, where we inserted a 24 hour viewing window so the sign could be viewed at all hours in physical, as well as virtual, space.