Screen Breach Workshop

Screen Breach Workshop


Telepresence, Video mapping, Collaboration, Internet, Performance, Rube Goldberg machine


A week long, starting on Monday the 18th of January 2021 with the public presentation (audience will be present) in the evening of Saturday the 23rd of January 2021. We need you to be there throughout the whole workshop. We can’t practice if you’re not there (collaboration).


See the schedule for details. Please mark this in your calendar.



There’s room for 12 students. Ideally FMI MADtech students, 9 first year and 3 second year. Participants will work in pairs.


Jip de Beer will host the workshop in person, supported by Videokaffe member Mark Andreas streaming from the Open Source Gallery in Brooklyn, New York City and Videokaffe members Sebastian Ziegler, Jenny Mild & Jack Balance from their studios in Finland.


Videokaffe is a collaborative network of 10 artists located in various locations between North America and Europe. Their work explores the intersection of handcraft and technology through public art, sculpture, exhibitions, residencies, and connecting artist communities around the world. Since 2011 Videokaffe has been exploring an artistic form of physical telepresence, which they call Screen Breach.

Screen Breach

Screen Breach is a hybrid collaboration and presentation form in which different locations (studio, gallery, academy) are linked to each other via the internet by means of projectors, webcams, sensors and motors. Together the artists make drawings or kinetic sculptures. These works are partly virtual, partly physical and influence each other in real time.

Playing a game on the Screen Breach surface

Bring Your Own

Bring your own smartphone + headset (with microphone), chargers and powerbanks. We need them to talk to Videokaffe. A laptop will be useful too. Also make sure to bring yourself for the full duration of the workshop :)


Praediniussingel 59, 9711 AG Groningen.

We’ll make use of the walls and panels on the ground and first floor.

Panels suitable for projection etc. (ground floor)
Panels suitable for projection etc. (first floor)


We’ll be making portals in the building on the Praediniussingel. Kick off is on Monday. Then we spread out in groups of 2 in the building and build portals. Portals are connected via the internet and superimposed (via webcam and projectors) to create one shared surface.

Multi layered Screen Breach example

Participants will experiment with the interaction enabled by the portals, with sensors and motors (akin to a Rube Goldberg machine), but also shadow play and moving themselves.

Screen Breach performance: human bodies, no motors

Collaboration is key. The result is one interconnected system. To build and present it, we need to be present and work together. We’ll provide the tools and support. It’s up to you to play and decide what to build :) What will your portal do?

Wings and body of the kinetic sculpture exist on different continents, they’re merged together via Screen Breach (cameras, beamers and light sensors + motors to sync movement)

Eventually we have 6 portals running. The first triggering the second, the second triggering the third, etc. This chain reaction will finally be presented on Saturday evening the 23rd of January at the Praediniussingel and Open Source Gallery in Brooklyn, New York City. In Groningen, visitors will make a tour through the building and visit all the portal stations.


Hardware used during the workshop


Software used during the workshop

Inspiration: Rube Goldberg Machine

For inspiration on how to make a chain reaction and with what, we can watch Rube Goldberg Machine videos on YouTube. For example the leaf-blower and umbrella in the beginning of this video is a nice example. It’s big enough to see on camera and the leaf-blower is easy to turn on/off with a smart power socket.

World’s largest Rube Goldberg machine

Joseph’s Machines has loads of videos to draw inspiration from too.

Further reading

The Reisma van den Burg Grant enabled me to further explore the Screen Breach concept together with Videokaffe. I went to Turku, Finland to participate in the Art Teleported manifestation. This motivated me to make Mappertje and Pop-out Jitsi Meet: two tools we could use for the Screen Breach sessions. We put them to use during the two month residency Stream of Trials @ SIGN, Groningen. Funny enough the extensions weren’t just useful for us. They’re currently being used by thousands of people (for things other than Screen Breaches). And we’ll use them again during this workshop!