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Newsleak (Hungarian: Hírcseppek, Turkish: Habersızması, German: Nachrichtenleck) is not an art project.

Newsleak is a publication; a motivated functional hybrid of real and digital cultures and media. It is a collaborative project by Timothy Devine, Jayme Cochrane, and Shervin Afshar.

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 of your current location, news of Internet cultures, events, trends, and social media.


Concept and Idea

As our everyday life begins to exist more in virtual spaces, and information about how we behave and act in these spaces is made more readily available, the more we should reflect and report about it: the more, ‘we‘ should pertain to people active in both spaces.

— Project concept text1.

Newsleak in a tram station in Budapest.

Newsleak acts as an urban intervention, a transitory media output device that provides a snapshot of local and global culture and happenings at the press of a button. It is light, consumable, disposable media.

The aim is to cultivate a functional exchange between real space and virtual space, and showing how each space can augment and support the other. In the same vein as a traditional newspaper, Newsleak 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 target audience, and the target audience is defined by the content and distribution.


Newsleak in Ars Electronica 2010

The installation consists of a wooden box housing a thermal printer, battery packs, webcam, Asus Eee PC netbook, and the print-on-push trigger circuitry. The box is mountable on street poles.

The software is developed on-site and remotely using Open Source/Free Software technologies. The programming language of choice is Python (and external libraries like BeautifulSoup, Mechanize, PIL, ReportLab). The running environment is based on Ubuntu and utilizes SQLite and basic bash commands for file manipulation.

Newsleak print-outs in three languages.

The code is developed considering the needs for localization. Supporting new languages and places can be done by adding new translation strings for the new language and lists of Internet sources for the specific city. Up to now, the database is populated with localization data for English, German, Hungarian, and Turkish.

In three different installations of the project in Budapest, Istanbul, and Linz (Austria), the localized version was aiming to reach the local audience in their own language and from the sources related to the local/national audience.



Video broadcast archives from Kitchen Budapest





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