Graffiti Research Lab Canada

PWN The Wall

June 25th, 2012 . by Agent Scott


PWN THE WALL was a 25 hour interactive digital graffiti event connecting Vancouver, Berlin, and Seoul. Created by GRL members in Canada, Germany, and South Korea, PWN THE WALL uses open-source technology to collapse geographical space through a real-time telematic exchange. Simultaneous live digital painting events in all three cities showcased local graffiti writers. The installation was interactive and open to the public for the duration of  PWN THE WALL.

PWN THE WALL continued our collaboration with German colleagues at GRL Germany. After working together to create ‘Light Rider’ (mobile projection bike) and Original G-Code (live drawing to 3-D fabrication system), our collectively-run groups developed the technology to produce digital graffiti that was live-streamed and re-projected, collapsing geographical space through a series of public events and ongoing interactive installations. GRL Canada Members include Jesse Scott & Mirae Rosner with Semiramis Ceylan, Hauke Altmann and Achim Kern comprising the main team at GRL Germany.

The final installation took the form of a networked 3-Channel video installation, with one interactive screen for each city, and two screens that represent real time updates from the interactive screens in the other two cities. During certain times, commissioned graffiti writers created custom pieces on the interactive wall, and these pieces were also projected on a much larger surface, drawing remote graffiti on the local, urban fabric.

We coded and produced and distributing this project exclusively through open-source tools and technologies. PWN THE WALL furthers our ongoing commitment to urban interventions that take graffiti into the digital age through open approaches to community and technology.

PWN THE WALL was a three city digital graffiti exchange between Vancouver, Seoul, and Berlin. GRL Canada and Germany facilitated the work of local graffiti artists through an open-source, real time and interactive digital graffiti wall.  Photos by Devin Wells (Vancouver), Dooho Kim (Seoul) and Christian Vagt (Berlin). 



PWN THE WALL is a collaboration between Graffiti Research Lab Canada (GRL-C) and Graffiti Research Lab Germany (GRL-G). Many people, across three continents, came on board to make this event possible.

Artistic Direction: Jesse Scott (GRL-C), Mirae Rosner (GRL-C), Hauke Altmann (GRL-G), Semiramis Ceylan (GRL-G)
Technical Development: Jesse Scott, Hauke Altmann
Production: Mirae Rosner, Semiramis Ceylan

GRL Canada
Technical Support & Installation Supervision: Michael Manning & flyingoctopus
Documentation: Devin Wells
Event Crew: Prophecy Sun

GRL Germany
Artist Curation: Daniel Daoudi
Technical Support: Falko
Documentation: Open Media Accelerator OMA
PR Jaime Schwartz
Event Crew Sofia, Tau, Hanna

Support in Seoul
Artist Curation: Udo Lee
Event Crew: Joon Kim
Documentation: Doohoo Kim

Many thanks to our host venues:
W2 Community Media Arts (Irwin Oostindie, Lianne Payne, Jen Castro)
Platoon Cultural Development (Tom Bueschemann + Christoph Frank, Eunsung Jeon, Inseong Kim, Marcello Dato)


Featured Graffiti Artists


The Dark

Take 5 (DJ)









JnJ Crew


Tech Deets

PWN THE WALL was a networked, three channel video installation, designed to operate with several simultaneous installations in different locations. The video channels are rear projection screens, and one exhibition computer runs all three channels in each installation.

One video channel in each installation is an interactive screen, designed to work with an infrared pen – a spray can outfitted with an infrared LED. The artist gestures against the rear projection screen, while an infrared camera situated behind the screen tracks the IR LED from the spray can. The computer software receives the position of the tracked point in real time, and projects digital ‘paint’ at the matching point. There is an on-screen interface where the artist can change the colour and style of ‘paint, add drips, change from ‘marker’ to ‘spray paint’, etc.

At the same time, the software sends the tracked point and paint colour/style to a server, which allows other installations to request those details and redraw them as part of their own installation. Each installation can request the data from any other installation on the second and third channels, and display that in real time on any appropriate screens.

For PWN THE WALL, we worked between three installations in three cities, each with three channels/screens. So, for the installation in Vancouver, the second and third channels displayed the generated output from the installation in Berlin and Seoul.

We tested the basic software components, networking with our Berlin allies, during New Forms Festival, September 13-15 2012. We’re happy to say the networking software ran smoothly between the two cities and that the public was able to interact in realtime through the use of a wacom tablet.

Artistic Directors’ Bios

Jesse Scott is a new media artist, performer, coder, media designer, and visualist. Under various aliases and operating within several artist collectives, he produces work for live performance, site-specific actions, listening, viewing, reading … his work has spanned the domains of a/v performance, locative media, telematics, improvisational practice, urban projection, installation design, public workshops, and the written word. He has exhibited extensively across North America and Europe.

Mirae Rosner is an interdisciplinary artist with a background in contemporary dance and urban geography. She often works collectively with the memelab and Dance Troupe Practice, and her solo practice is titled Fictional Anatomy. Recently, she completed residencies at the Incheon Art Platform, Platoon (Seoul), M.A.R.I.N. (Baltic Sea), and exhibited at Techno Ecologies Festival (Riga), Piksel Festival (Bergen) and Tracing Mobility (Berlin). Upcoming, she looks forward to working on new performance-based works at the Hammock Residency (Vancouver).

Semiramis Ceylan studied visual communication at Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, Germany and at École Boulle, Paris, France. For her degree work she collaborated with the dance department of Folkwang University on an experimental media-dance piece. She is working in interdisciplinary projects in the field of media art, performance arts and video as a visual artist and designer. A communication designer in Berlin, she is strongly involved with the local DIY culture and runs media & sewing workshops.

Hauke Altmann graduated in media & computer science at the University of Applied Sciences Berlin. Since 2006, he has worked as an artist, mainly doing LED installations in public space. He is also a web developer at Doctors Without Borders Germany.

One Response to “PWN The Wall”

  1. comment number 1 by: PWN THE WALL - A Geek Moment with Graffiti - I Rez Therefore I Am

    [...] PWN THE WALL is a networked, three channel video installation, designed to operate with several simultaneous installations in different locations. The video channels are rear projection screens, and one exhibition computer runs all three channels in each installation. [...]