The Global Anxiety Monitor

The Global Anxiety Monitor has been disabled on 18/10/2011

Based on a simple technique, it dynamically constructed search urls in different languages, and then displayed the integral results in juxtaposed frames. However in October 2011, Google changed how image search is accessed, and embedding frames was no longer possible. Currently, the continuation of the project would only be possible through Google’s API, or Application Programming Interface. Access to this requires users to sign up for an account and agree to Google’s Terms of Service, they can be better monitored, and if necessary, access restricted. De Geuzen decided not to adapt the work to fit these requirements, and has archived it, not only as a document of the work itself, but also as snapshot of a particular method of poaching in the world wide web.




The Global Anxiety Monitor is distributed through the Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst. If you would like to show the work in an exhibition, festival or other event please contact Joke Ballintijn at NIMK via joke at to find out about possibilities and conditions.

Technical requirements

To run the Global Anxiety Monitor you need:
  1. A flatscreen or projector per language (minimum: three).
    Projectors and screens should be as similar as possible (type of monitor, size of projection, light intensity of the projection).
    Resolution of the screen/projection needs to be at least 800px wide.
  2. A computer (Mac, Windows or Linux) per language/projection/screen.
    If a computer has multiple VGA connectors, you can project multiple Global Anxiety Monitor screens per computer.
  3. Each computer should have the same version of FireFox installed.
  4. Each computer should have a stable Internet connection.
  5. Especially if you use Wireless Internet, we recommend you to install the Try Again plugin. This automatically reloads the work in case the connection temporarily failed.

Selecting languages

The Global Anxiety Monitor should run a minimum of three languages in parallel. The choice of languages is up to the curator and context. If you want to monitor a language that is not yet available, please contribute to the work and e-mail us your translation:
In some cases it can be useful to monitor just two languages. However, the choice of language-pair becomes even more meaningful: comparing rival ideologies (Arab and Hebrew), neighbouring anxieties (French and Dutch) or competing economies (Chinese and English) for example.

Links to launch individual Global Anxiety Monitor screens:

Depending on the exhibition space and material available, the work can be shown on monitors or can be projected. See here for some suggestions.
If projected, the room needs to be large enough to absorb reflection.
We prefer not to hide projectors and cables; backprojection of the work is possible though.

You can start monitoring by clicking one of the links above. Choose a different language for each of the projections/screens. The Global Anxiety Monitors should be projected fullscreen, i.e. hide navigation elements as much as possible. In some cases this requires a change to the FireFox user stylesheet:

Add the following code to userChrome.css below the @namespace line:

#fullscr-toggler {display:none!important}

Web version

Now dysfunctional web-version for viewing at home:

About The Global Anxiety Monitor

The Global Anxiety Monitor is an ongoing project which evolved out of De Geuzen's interest in mediatized images and the way their context and meaning fluctuate in the ecology of the world wide web. Presented as a multi-screen installation, the work simultaneously juxtaposes live Google image searches in different languages. Querying anxiety buzzwords such as terrorism, conflict, financial crisis and climate change, each language delivers its own unique set of results. What is projected is a continuous pulse of visuals and metadata reflecting occasionally convergent and at times conflictual perspectives. By continually performing timed searches, it becomes evident that query is driven by cultural biases and fed by local concerns. The Global Anxiety Monitor does not archive or document these processes, but rather it is a means of exposing the various Google worlds we may occupy at any given moment.

De Geuzen

De Geuzen is a foundation for multi-visual research and the collaborative identity of Riek Sijbring, Femke Snelting and Renee Turner. Since 1996 they have employed a variety of tactics to explore female identity, narratives of the archive and media image ecologies. Exhibitions, workshops and online projects operate as thematic framing devices to investigate and test ideas collectively with different publics.

Thank you

Mel Chan, Pang Ching Ho, Tsila Hassine, Oliver Meskawi, Alexandre Prokoudine, Shy Shavit, Andraž Tori and Michael Murtaugh.

The Global Anxiety Monitor is released under a Free Art Licence. You can dowload the php-code here: Please keep us posted of your use and abuse: info at


The work is making live Google Image searches, and depends on Google's willingness to accept automated requests. As we have experienced, access policies can change overnight. If you see a warning or other anomalies come up, please contact De Geuzen and we can see what we can do.