Tim Devine

Newsleak – A Sentient Media Publication

Newsleak is not an art project.

A Newsleak is a publication: a motivated functional hybrid of real and digital cultures and media. Press a button on a pink box in the urban environment to instantly receive a printed summary of the latest news from around the world, news from your current location, news of internet cultures, events, trends and social media.



Our aim is to cultivate a functional exchange between the real space and the virtual space. Think of a Newsleak as you would any other print media publication: it has a target audience, a distinct style and type of content, and specific intervals and methods of distribution. Most publications are fundamentally focused on the targetaudience and the target audience is defined by the content and distribution.



The next iteration of Newsleak will be more autonomous, aware and dynamic. Acutely sensing the environment surrounding it. Think of it like a black box flight recorder for gathering anonymous information in public space; comprehending the emotional and topical state of society surrounding it, and recontextualising it with greater cyberspace.

The Fraunhofer Institute’s non-invasive biometrics computer vision technology will detect the facial expressions of passers by – happy, sad, surprised or angry, along with their sex, quantifying the emotional state of the real space surrounding each Newsleak unit. Microphones connected to speech recognition software will recognise which words are being spoken, this data will then be processed by psycholinguistics algorithms developed at MIT and compiled into a tag cloud of words that are also trending online: seaming real and cyber discourse. It is important to note that all information gathered through computer vision and sound analysis techniques is processed in realtime and thus stores only data relevant to the project: for example, ‘a man was happy’, or ‘the word Facebook was spoken’. This way there is absolutely no chance of a person being traced back to a spoken word or biometric expression: privacy is not an issue. Equivalent analysis will be performed on information generated in cyberspace. The most recently updated profile pictures and images uploaded to the web will be analysed with the same biometrics software, along with a psycholinguistic analysis of the most recent news and social media content.

In summary, in this iteration of Newsleak each unit will be acutely aware of emotional states in real and cyber space. Combining this information with the already established Newsleak editorial summary of the latest news from around the world, news of their current location, news of internet cultures, events, trends and social media.


Who is our target audience? Our target audience ranges from those who seldom use the internet and are unaware of cultures or services of the internet. To those who are often connected to the internet and engage in social media of some kind. The target audience is a mirror of the content we provide and functions to overlap the borders of the real and virtual spaces. Think of how the content of a credible newspaper is structured – world, politics, business and sport.  Not every section will be relevant to every reader, but every reader accepts that every section is relevant to their broader environment and culture.  As our everyday begins to exist more in virtual spaces and information about how we behave and act in these spaces is made available the more we should reflect and report about it: the more, ‘we‘ should pertain to people from both spaces.

A Newsleak content structure –


  • Latest news worldwide – blogs & google news,
  • Top Twitter Trends worldwide.

Local area:

  • Biometric Emotional Analysis
  • Psycholinguistic Real vs Cyber space Comparison
  • Latest local Twitter posts,
  • Latest local internet search trends,
  • Current temperature, time and location,
  • Latest music performances in area searched from MySpace.
  • Latest local photos from Flickr

Internet Culture:

  • Trending Google Searches,
  • Most edited Wikipedia pages,
  • Traffic load on the internet,
  • Twitscoop tag cloud,
  • Reddit article,
  • Digg article,
  • Tumblr images or text collage.

A wonderful venn diagram ‘mantra’ for Newsleak by Mahir M. Yavuz


Newsleak in the Kassa Gallery, Istanbul 2010.


Newsleak on the streets of Budapest 2010.


Newsleak on the streets of Istanbul 2010.

2 Responses to “Newsleak – A Sentient Media Publication”

  1. kmlx says:

    kinda interesting. but if this isn’t an art project, then wouldn’t adding some wifi besides just a simple button be even more practical? a wifi which would automatically bring to you a digest site like the news feed you currently present in paper format? this would also help you with the costs involved (ads) in implementing this system in other cities. also, this could be customized for the area the device is placed in (especially good in large cities eg. london)
    anyway, keep up the good work!

  2. tim says:

    Thanks for the feedback. We often discuss this idea of customisation and people talk about how it is more practical on a mobile device or in conjunction with a mobile device, but we approach this work from the perspective that Newsleak is a printed publication accessible in urban environments and soon as a digital publication in cyberspace.

    One of the main points of this work is that people without wifi or anything close to a smart phone are able to access such information, and that the information the publication covers literally leads the reader from the real world through to cyberspace.

    Also the information in the publication is very relevant to the location it is accessed. We show local news, tweets, music events and the device itself is capturing photos every 30 seconds.

    It is still being formed but the thesis and format is strong – Global Space > Local Space > You > Social Cyberspace > Cyberspace

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