BE[AM] 2004-2008

BEAM HomeBE[AM] is a spatially interactive immersive installation which displays visuals from a database of American pop culture and offers the visitors control of three familiar iconic characters via video gamepads.

BE[AM] projects video imagery onto the three walls, ceiling, and floor of a public space using a robotic projector. The three characters, Charlie Chaplin, Wile E. Coyote, and Super Mario appear in contrast to projections of the American pop landscape: Hollywood productions, TV broadcasts, and video war games.

BE[AM] seeks to point out the political intoxication of “us versus them” mentality that is gaining prevalence as the lines between entertainment and portrayal of military combat quickly vanish. The viewer’s interaction with the superimposed icons creates a critical distance from popular media, providing a space for rethinking of large-scale, long-term cultural forces in reference to the daily lives of individuals.

After ACCESS, this project addresses a shift from surveillance control to mass entertainment manipulation; from increased transparency to fake visibility, and finally to the triumph of the gaming rules, whether the game is in TV news, a movie, the stock market, or a real battlefield.

BE[AM] Concept and Detailed Description

BE[AM] System Diagram (70 K)
May, 2006


BE[AM] Narrative, 2009
credits : Scott Fitzgerald, Marie Sester



Concept and Direction
Marie Sester

Special thanks to Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) for the characters leitmotifs

Production Team, Summer 2007 – May 2008
Jesse Gilbert, Technical Direction
Bo Bell, Final Motion Control / Interactivity Development

Production Team, Fall 2005 – Spring 2006
Pylon Technical, initial Motion Control / Interactivity Design and Development
Jesse Gilbert, Sound Design and Spatialization Programming
Robin Dicker, Video Editing
Marie Sester, Documentation Editing
Justin Hall, Documentation Recording
Robert Bisser, Master Carpenter and Installation Assistant
Doug Goodwin, Interactivity Developer
Pablo Molina, Technical System Consultant
Patrick Vaillancourt, Max/MSP Jitter Programming
Dan Richert, Text Assistant
Characters motifs composed and performed by Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)

Production Team, Summer 2005
Emanuel Treeson, Digital Technology Consultant
Christian Hibbard, Projection Programmer
Scott Nazarian, Popular Media Consultant
Doug Goodwin, Interactivity Developer
David Schwarz, Video Documentation (
Final Data and Video Editing: Aaron Meyers, Kelli Cain, Neil Graf.
Additional Technical Consultants: Peter Brinson, Mark Allen.

Pre–Production Team, 2004
BE[AM] started in 2004 in New York, with the collaboration of McKenzie Wark for cultural data research, script, and critique.
Advisors: Carl Goodman, Tom Igoe, Chris Bregler, Ruppert Bohle.
First pass data and video editing: Tom Ainslie and Dimitri Negroponte.

Thanks for their support to
California Institute of the Arts
Tom Leeser, Director, Center for Integrated Media
Steve Anker, Dean of the Film School
High End Systems
Randy Mayer, West Coast Regional Sales Manager
PRG (Production Resource Group)
Susan Tesh, Vice-President and General Manager West Coast Operations
Mark Rudge, Senior Account Manager
Michael Sydner, Virtual Systems Engineer
Art Center College of Design
Nikolaus Hafermaas, Chair, Graphic Design
Steve Kim, Assistant Chair, Graphic Design
Dennis Keeley, Chair, Photography + Imaging

Many thanks to Michael Naimark, McKenzie Wark

With grants support from:
Franklin Furnace Fund, The Future of the Present 2005, New York, USA
This project was sponsored by Harvestworks, New York, USA, and made possible with funds from:
The New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency
The LEF Foundation.