Used News / Pierce Warnecke

Commissioned by ZERO1, the San Jose Public Art Program, and Metro Newspaper, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the San Jose Downtown Association.

USED NEWS is a newspaper mash-up, a visual remix of Silicon Valley through its printed voice - the Metro newspaper - that will be exhibited as part of the ArtHERE program at Metro (550 S. 1st Street) from September 12-December 8, 2012.

A small public and portable video station in the entrance to the Metro building where participants can manipulate printed editions of Metro in front of a microscope camera. The camera is connected to custom video sampling software based on the idea of stop-motion animation, and uses a system of storage and playback to accumulate user-made videos. If no one is present a default video (5min) will play looped. As soon as the camera is moved, the software switches to record mode, and a small button allows users to record when they’re ready. The entire system is housed within the station, and is on wheels. This allows it to easily be moved or stored inside if need be.

The use of a microscope lets users zoom in up to 200 times on the newspapers, giving extreme details and allowing them to explore the newspaper on an in depth, quasi-pixel level. Fibrous textures, parts of words, pieces of imagery appear and can almost be recognized, briefly placing the viewer into the reality of contemporary information. Yet the meanings of these words and illustrations cannot be grasped in full; only parts of their shapes, colors and contrasts are visible through the microscope. The result is an abstract micro exploration of Metro’s articles. Seeking Silicon Valley…via user-made video mash-ups of it’s printed voice.

The videos made by users are stored and then played back on an LCD screen fixed on the station. A second VGA cable is available for setting up a projector either in front of metro news for façade activation on special occasions (i.e. the Biennale weekend), or else on the inside of the building to rear-project on the left ground-floor window. The idea of filming extreme close-ups and projected them in blown-up proportions onto the building gives an interesting contrast that will attract the attention of street-goers.

This project will be exhibited as 
part of the ArtHERE program at 
Metro Newspaper (550 S. 1st Street) 
from September 12-December 8, 2012. 
Opening hours TBD

Pierce Warnecke

lives and works in Berlin, Germany


Pierce Warnecke’s work stems from his interest in the effects of time on matter: modification, deterioration and disappearance. Whether focus is on the purity of digital forms or the chaotic grit of natural objects, large scales of time and space or microscopic detail, the goal of Pierce’s work is to readapt existing materials into a parallel context where their signified meanings, symbols and cultural connections have become residual ghosts. Sound works explore combinations of pure synthetic sounds, electronic interferences, field recordings and manipulations of found objects. Textural, drone, noise, electronic and improvised music are areas of interest, explored through solo works and collaborations. Video is created in real-time, recorded, or generated and uses found items and moments: data sets, organic matter and microscopic textures to create dense patterns and contrasting forms.

Born in California, Pierce studied and worked for 10 years in France before moving to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music. He currently lives in Berlin where he is following a Meisterschüler Program at Universität der Kunst (UdK) under Dr. Alberto de Campo. He works as a MaxMSP programmer and sound designer, and co-curates the Emitter Micro festival and record label.

He has performed with artists such as Phill Niblock, Gino Robair, Louis Laurain, Yoann Durant and Pierre Borel and tours regularly in Europe and the US. He has presented his works in such places as Harvestworks (NY), GASP Gallery (Boston), Luggage Store Gallery (SF), AMODA (Austin), Le Labo (Toronto), Main d’Oeuvres (Paris), Ausland (Berlin) as well as festivals such as Boston Cyberarts, SXSW Interactive, Visionsonic, Optica, LPM, Mal au Pixel, Videoformes and more.