iScream Box

Team: Sally Musleh Jaber, Isabelle Tellié



Our modern day society is an ideal breeding ground for frustration and anger to build up. Especially in metropolitan cities, where life is fast-paced, people are struggling to maintain a healthy life-work balance. Often we lack a proper outlet or we yell and scream at someone out of anger and frustration, projecting our emotions onto that person and making us seem like we have an anger management problem. This kind of screaming usually doesn’t solve any issues.

But everyone knows the feeling of relief when one has dared to scream loudly, albeit for no reason. You do not always know why, but you somehow feel liberated. The physical reaction of screaming involving extreme muscle contraction during the scream can result in a soothing relaxation of the psyche. There’s colleges that encourage a primal scream to help relieve the stress of finals and the primal scream therapy is a legitimate form of psychotherapy used to treat anxiety, trauma and even stress. A scream has the potential to have a positive effect on the mental and physical well being, to ignite equanimity, creating a sense of inner peace by stress relief, even if it’s only temporary. Screaming can even have a cathartic and therapeutic effect. And screaming together can multiply this effect.


The iScream Box is an opaque shell (dodecahedron, ca. 3m x 3m x 3m) with several small openings that transforms the screams of passers-by into a visual manifest.

Passers-by are prompted to scream into the box. Sensors register the scream in the box and the sensors are read out. This triggers light effects and motors in the box, producing a visual copy of the scream.

Screaming through the opening awakens the inner landscape to life. Depending on the volume, the frequency and the intonation of the scream, a part or the entire landscape becomes visible in the interior. The louder and longer the scream, the more it becomes visible and the more individual 3D-objects start to move, revealing a colorful, lively and organic scenery.

The inner walls of the box are lined with laser engraved geometric shapes made of plexiglass and sturdy paper, all of which are connected to one another. Some of the shapes are linked to a hidden motor. Behind these shapes is a meshwork of voice reactive lights installed (e.g. addressable LED strips, allowing individual control with a microcontroller). Sound impact sensors in the box lend noise-activation possibilities to the microcontroller. Once triggered, light flood through the cutouts of the different layers and forms of the shapes, creating a moving play of light and shadow. As soon as the sensors no longer register a sound, the landscape darkens again and the shapes stop moving.

Located in public space, on physical public domains, the installation is accessible to all. The iScream Box is ideally placed in front of buildings, where frustration and anger can build and unload, for example in front of hospitals, tax offices, district courts, employment offices, schools, foreigners’ offices, department stores, airports and banks. But it can also be located in parks, open urban spaces in city centers or in the suburbs, as well as in galleries and modern art museums.

Key activties

1. Concept development. Research. Visual experiments.
2. Concrete structure. Fab Lab collaboration. Programming. Hardware
3. First prototype. Development. Construction box. Construction inner landscape.
4. Testing phase. Final construction. Hardware installation.
5. Transport. Set up. Presentation.

About the team

Sally Musleh Jaber, born in 1982 to Iraqi – Palestinian roots, left her birth city of Bagdad at the age of seven, and moved westward to Germany. She studied performance art, directing and acting at the Academy of Arts Maastricht (NL) and Communication & Multimedia Design at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam (NL).

Since 2009 she lives in Berlin, where she works as a multidisciplinary artist focusing on interactive installation and performance art and documentaries. Her recent works include directing the documentary series ‘Auf Augenhöhe’ and ‘Update – Ein Wiedersehen auf Augenhöhe’ for the public service broadcaster rbb, Currently she’s in the preparation phase of the multimedia documentary project ‘Iraq Calling’ (working title).

A great fascination in her personal life, which strongly influences her work, is the theme of perception, occupying a strong and central position in a variety of ways. Engaging with this theme, she questions the qualities of a relative truth and reality, which in her belief are always connected to the strength of the perception of an individual, which takes the freedom, has the need or is constrained by seeing and experiencing matters in a certain way. This creates a tension field, which inspires and drives her to research the mechanisms of human behaviour based on the theme of perception.

Isabelle Tellié, born 1991 in Germany and half French from origin. She studied a Bachelor in Fashion Design at the Artez Institute of Arts in Arnhem (NL), where she graduated with honors in 2015.

Specializing in innovative technology such as lasering methods and 3D printing sculptures and constructions. Her work fits into the international contemporary art stream that embraces the heritage of optical abstraction and develops it further by her own methods. Especially her fashion background offers an interesting contrast and leads her to innovative ideas in the art context.

Her work is inspired by graphical and minimalist shapes it’s purity of form. Especially the interaction with light, shadow and movement catches her eye. The slightly translucent fabric, she uses, is made of mostly acrylic glass and some durable paper materials and allows the viewer to deep into a meditative and reflecting state of mind. These acrylic glass constructions reflect elegantly with the light flow and the shadows interact with lasered shapes. When viewed from different angles or with changing natural light, it evokes varied emotions in the viewer according to the viewer’s unique perceptions of its space and form. This interest in opposing forces correlates to the process and motivates the viewer to interact with the artwork and be guided to a higher state of mind.