LEDs in Action – Performance Art and Fish Bellies

Now that the summer is nearly over (in the US), we thought we might take a look at some fun applications of LEDs including performance art, art turned into football replays, and fish bellies.

Eugene, Oregon-based fiber optic toy company Ants On A Melon, has turned LEDs into performance art. Founded in 2012, the folks at Ants On A Melon have developed an artistic platform designed to share interactive fiber optic artwork.  Their LED performance art using jellyfish is just one example of what they can do with LEDs. You can see a video of the Jellyfish (pictured below) here.

Ants On A Melon, Jellyfish, Performance Art

Ants On A Melon, Jellyfish, Performance Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dallas Cowboys new stadium, AT&T Stadium, is filled with art, including a new LED-based exhibit by LED artist Jim Campbell, “Exploded View (Dallas Cowboys) 2013.”  Exploded View features 2880 LED’s that flicker and illustrate plays in LED lights. A renowned LED light artist, Campbell specializes in low-resolution images.  From close up, the image is completely abstract, but from far away, the football play is recognizable. While we don’t have a video of this artwork, here’s a link to a video of Campbell’s Exploded View, Commuters.

Campbell’s artwork is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

Jim Campbell's Exploded View, Dallas Cowboys

Jim Campbell’s Exploded View, Dallas Cowboys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While not performance art, the new LED art exhibit at Texas State University, San Marcos River in San Marcos, Texas, by public art designers Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock encourages interaction.  Designed to celebrate the biodiversity of the San Marcos River, Fish Bellies enables students to sit inside, study or talk while touch controls allow them to adjust the color and saturation levels of the LED lighting inside.

Fish Bellies at Texas State University, San Marcos River

Fish Bellies at Texas State University, San Marcos River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Further Reading

The Dallas News, LED artist has created the 50th piece in the Cowboys Stadium collection, http://www.dallasnews.com/entertainment/columnists/michael-granberry/20130427-led-artist-has-created-the-50th-piece-in-the-cowboys-stadium-collection.ece

Inhabitat.com, LED Fish Bellies Celebrate Biological and Human Diversity in Texas, http://inhabitat.com/led-fish-bellies-celebrate-biological-and-human-diversity-in-texas/

The Bay Bridge – LED Light Art Beacons

“The Bay Lights” on the Bay Bridge that crosses San Francisco Bay from San Francisco to Oakland.

In honor of the 75th anniversary of the Bay Bridge, the city of San Francisco and non-profit Illuminate the Arts unveiled a new light exhibition, The Bay Lights, a 1.8 mile-long installation of 25,000 white LED lights along the West Span of the bridge that spans San Francisco Bay from San Francisco to Oakland.  The LED lights are on from dusk until 2:00 a.m. for the length of the two year exhibition.

The project was created by world renowned light artist Leo Villareal.  Known internationally for his light sculptures and site-specific architectural work, Villareal’s art is in permanent collections of prestigious museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum in Kagawa, Japan.

According to Villareal in LEDs Magazine, “This isn’t about just lighting another bridge with white or colored light. The Bay Lights emphasizes the use of intelligent lighting, fully utilizing individual control and the ability to create 255 levels of brightness per node.”

The project uses Philips Color Kinetics eW Flex SLX product in a 4200K CCT. These LEDs are made up of flexible strings of individually controllable white LED nodes that are attached at 1-ft intervals on the suspension cables. Each cable features LEDs that light up in specially programmed patterns including animations moving across the span, multi-dimensional waves of movement, and light-level changes for impact.

For the energy conscious, The Bay Lights is estimated to cost $11,000 in energy a year. The Bay Lights organizers believe that the project will bring upwards of $100 million to San Francisco in tourism revenue.  While not visible to travelers on the bridge itself, San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee believes that an estimated 50 million people in San Francisco and the North and East Bay will eventually see the lights.

For Further Reading

The Bay Lights, http://thebaylights.org/

San Francisco Examiner, Leo Villareal’s ‘Bay Lights’ set to sparkle Bay Bridge for next few years, http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2013/03/leo-villareals-bay-lights-set-sparkle-bay-bridge-next-few-years#ixzz2NWm7XSqB

LEDs Magazine, Philips LEDs convert Bay Bridge to light sculpture, http://ledsmagazine.com/news/10/3/6

 

LED Light as Art

SHY Light Bronze by Bec Brittain

SHY Light Bronze by Bec Brittain

Now that we have looked into the technology and markets for LED-based tube lighting, let’s take a few moments to admire the creative side of LED lighting – a very artistic approach to using LED tubes as a medium.  The collection of LED lighting from New York City-based Bec Brittain, The SHY Light, uses thin LED tubes to redefine LED lighting that’s very different from your standard T-12 fixture.

Inspired by crystalline structures and the way they grow, the LED light fixtures can take on the shape of a pyramid or polyhedron and are configured in modules so that they can be reconfigured in a myriad of different ways depending on the space from retail to high-end homes.  The SHY LED lighting has been featured in LUX, Dwell and Interior Design.

After first working with fluorescent tubes, Brittain told the blog “You have been here sometime” that she turned to LEDs due to simpler wiring, but also for advances in the quality of light.  Her first priority is to design things that can be passed on to future generations.

The New York Times Magazine recently focused on Brittain and her new role as LED lighting designer.  With degrees in architecture and philosophy, she worked in lighting design with lighting design specialist Lindsey Adelman while at the same time designing braided leather jewelry and bug sculptures. “I’d like to explore the possibility of bringing the materiality and femininity of my other projects into my design work,” Brittain said. “You can only do so many things at once.”

For Further Reading

Times Magazine (The New York Times), Seeing the Light, http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/31/seeing-the-light-2/

You Have Been Here Sometime, A Conversation with Bec Brittain, http://youhavebeenheresometime.blogspot.com/2012/01/conversation-with-bec-brittain.html

Clearlysapphire.com, Deep Dive: LED Tubes Gain Traction, http://blog.clearlysapphire.com/?p=247