Breaking the News – Be a News-Jockey

Interactive net-based multi screen installation

Just tell us a headline or your favorite words and we’ll create a modifiable streaming news-station for you. Breaking The News is an interactive installation, transmitting in realtime information from the internet. The user becomes a live performer, a News-Jockey.

Friends ask: Could you help me to cook up a news that I’ll like? Those questions often evolved into great conversations. Friends told us their favorite headlines, and we in turn created new stories. Everybody started joking that we were now their personal News-Jockeys. We created “Breaking The News” so that we can have that same kind of conversation with you.

Through entering a headline or your favorite word, for example “Jihad in Zurich”, the application NJ (News-Jockey) generates a modifiable streaming news-station, out of the rich internet-content. NJ is developed for Breaking The News and researches and classifies topics focused on the interests of the individual user. The content of the audio-visual streams is made up of Web Services (sixteen at this time) such as Amazon, ccMixer, Flickr, Freesound, Google, Pozinger, Sonicsquirrel, Technorati, Yahoo, Wikipedia… You can create a News by writing a headline or just a favorite word, using the on-screen-keyboard via Mouse. On the second step you can modify the running News in many ways: For example by using the mode-slider you define how you like the News: critical – informative – entertaining, and the presentation will audio-visually fit to this specification. You can mix the subject of the News be entering different keywords for text, images, videos, bubbles, adds, songs, talks, remixes and noises. You can run the auto-mode and NJ will automatically make with up-to-date Headlines from Google-News endless audiovisual presentations.

As the DJ (Disc-Jockey) juggle with music, the NJ juggle with News.

One example
You can write a headline: “Soldier died in Iraq” and choose the mode: “critical”. You will hear podcasts and will see videos, images, blogs, RSS Feeds and more according to this headline. In a second step, you change the mode to “entertaining”. Now the audio-visualization becomes more colorful, sad songs, bubbles and articles from Amazon appearing. If you like the News more “entertaining”, you can modify this News with songs from “Britney Spears” and Videos from the “Pope” for example.

The project is fundamental research, media satire and art installation, all at the same time. Not only does it descriptively and exemplarily convey how complex contents can be processed in a user-friendly and software-controlled fashion, it also reflects the visions and limits of our information society in an intelligent manner.