Suicide Box

13 min
Festival edition: 

The Suicide Box by the Bureau of Inverse Technology (B.I.T.) is a motion detection video system designed to capture vertical activity. The system includes the B.I.T. camera, motion capture card, analysis software and a case. In standard operation any vertical motion inside the frame will trigger the camera to record to disk, supplying public, frame-accurate data of a social phenomenon not previously quantified. In 1996 B.I.T. installed the Suicide Box for trial application in range of the Golden Gate Bridge. The placement was determined to exploit the specific cultural climate of San Francisco as both information capital (gateway to Silicon Valley) and suicide capital of the USA. At first, excessive triggering caused by unanticipated seagull interference disabled the box, but this was quickly corrected with recalibration of the horizontal field sample information, and the initial deployment period of 100 days metred 17 bridge events. The video shown here is the report delivered by B.I.T. following the test.


Image: Bureau of Inverse Technology (B.I.T). Suicide Box, USA 1996