About the BIX Media Facade

'The facade as a screen has expanded the reach of the Kunsthaus.'

Realities:united (Tim and Jan Edler), Berliner Studio für Kunst, Architektur und Technologie and creators of the BIX media facade

The BIX is a light and media facade at the Kunsthaus Graz that faces towards the River Mur and the inner city. Since its opening in 2003, it has served both artists and curators in communicating and interacting with the urban space. Through the changing programme it plays, the BIX emphasises the organically formed nature of the building.

'The pixels glitter in the figure like sequins on a jacket.'

Cerith Wyn Evans

By the way, BIX is a unique word created from BIG and PIXEL.

'The Kunsthaus can change its skin like a chameleon.'

Colin Fournier, architect of the Kunsthaus Graz


'The BIX is part of the “skin”: the Kunsthaus Graz has no walls, no roof and no base, but rather has a connected shell, a skin.'

Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, architects of the Kunsthaus Graz

'We ditched the usual evaluation benchmarks for screen technology: no colours, little resolution and an old technology which can do very little. Why then?

Because the media facades at the time were exposed to economic constraints. It was different in the case of the Kunsthaus.'
Realities:united, Jan Edler

Behind the BIX facade

946 40-watt fluorescent lamps of the kind commercially available, each with a 40 cm diameter on a 900 sq metre surface, ca. 45 m in width and 20 m high, are behind the acrylic sheets, each able to be guided and dimmed by means of software, and to flash 20 times per second.


Animations, pictures and texts with a resolution of 56 x 25 pixel can move across the facade. The BIX energy consumption costs approx. 42 euro per month.


Most of the projects realised to date were realised by means of BIX file.

A BIX file is a file in .mov format.


For the creation of a generative project for the BIX,

basic knowledge of the Code Java and/or Processing IDE programming

languages are required.


Projects can be tested via the BIX Simulator.

The entire BIX software (consisting of the BIX-Editor,

BIX Director and BIX Simulator) were written by John Dekron.

>> The BIX Simulator (for Mac users only) is available free of charge

John Dekron in the interview

'For us, this work meant a kind of research of the basics.

Now, however, the Kunsthaus had to carry out linguistic research, for there was a lack of experience, semantics and grammar in making sensible use of such surfaces. In our eyes, those artists to be commissioned were potentially well suited to carrying out systematically and effectively this kind of research of the basics.'

Realities:united, Jan Edler

More information about the development of the BIX Media Facade can be found here from realities:united.



Kunsthaus Graz

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24th/25th December 2023