Kumi Yamashita’s Unbelievably Amazing Shadow People

For some reason, when I saw these images for the first time a few hours ago, the first thought that popped into my head was Ron Burgundy saying “by the beard of Zeus!”  These pieces below are just outstanding to me.  Kumi Yamashita has created many of these “shadow works” before – she is absolutely brilliant at painting with darkness.

Check these out – you have to see her work.  You have to see it.  You also have to check out Kumi’s portfolio.  Kumi, you blew me away.

Lovers:

Glider:

City View:

Profile:

Feather:

Clouds:

That one is just freaky!  I love it!

A commenter left an image on the original poster’s site (thanks, My Modern Met!) with another very striking image, created by Kumi, too:

Origami:

Thanks, Nicola Andrews, for bringing this to my attention!!!

You Got $870 bucks to Spend On A Lamp, Then Trash It?

First, watch this – you’re seeing the Less Lamp, created by Jordi Canudas:

The Museum of Modern Art website is selling this lamp for $875 USD – only $787.50 if you’re a MoMA member – as a piece of light art.  It’s an interesting statement of art, right?  But mostly I just want to meet someone who has a grand to spend on “light art” like the lamp by Jordi Canudas.  I am all about light, art, and light art, but I just don’t have that much cash to “invest” on something like that right now!

Jordi, don’t take offense – I’m writing about it, aren’t I?

Check out Jordi Canudas’ portfolio site too – he’s got interesting wares there!

It even comes with the hammer so you can destroy it.

Studio Color Quick Reference Card – Blast from the Past!

This is so totally random – but yesterday I was sorting through some old lighting stuff in my toolbox, and I ran across this Studio Color reference guide!  Those of us who used the living craps out of Studio Colors know this guide!

I have also made a PDF for convenient printing, in case anyone really wants a copy of this pamphlet.  I just thought it was cool to reminisce!

Prince and The Revolution Lighting


(What a great picture, El Chubasco!)

Do you ever have that feeling when a burst of creativity is changing?  I view creativity and artistic progress as climbing a mountain landscape – sometimes you’re climbing, sometimes you’re falling, and sometimes you’re stuck walking on a plateau not going up or down.  I just hit a climb.

Somehow a big burst of creativity finds its way to you, and you have to nurture it.  It needs food and water, love, and music.  This weekend I spent several hours ripping old CDs onto my desktop so that I could have new (old) tunes to groove on.  For me, music is a huge combination of passion, old memories, smells, and colors of light.  I needed something different than what I have been listening to – after buying a DJ Spooky album a few weeks ago and being introduced to Rodrigo y Gabriella, I felt the creativity coming.

So, as I listen to all of this stuff I listened to almost a decade ago, I thought it would be cool to go find lighting images of these bands I like from back in the day (or recently).  The first artist I found was Prince – I’ve seen him and his various bands several times over the last decade, and his music is some of the funkiest stuff out there.  Whether or not you care for his music, check out the video and images below – it’s great stuff!

I’m still trying to track down production staff information for the various tours – I’ll update this post if I find anything.

Purple Rain, Live in Tokyo:

Purple Rain – I think the first time it was ever played live, Part 1:

Part 2:

Some shots from ian-n on Flickr:

A shot from ebotunes:

Thanks to marypcb on Flickr for this one (Mary has great shots, check them out):

Stay tuned!  I’ve been listening to a TON of old stuff!

Happy Birthday, THOMAS ALVA EDISON!

Honey, where’s my car ke-OMG, IS THAT THOMAS ALVA EDISON?  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Thomas Alva Edison!  DUDE!  It’s the “Wizard of Menlo Park!!!”

(actually Tommy’s birthday was yesterday, but I had a gig and I was gone all day so don’t say anything) TOMMAAAAAY!

So, those of you who know Tommy A. Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) probably know him for, um, INVENTING THE LIGHT BULB and all.  Tommy Boy and Joseph Swan actually battled it out death-match style on the invention of the light bulb (we all know who it really was), but it turned out that Mr. Edison here was the better businessman and capitalist.  I mean, look at that face – doesn’t it just scream “you can make all the rules you want, I will make money in spite of them” on his face?

Tommy Edison was actually quite the inventor.  He started out as a telegraph operator (apparently termed “brass pounder”) and persevered through some tough times financially to become the holder of almost 1100 patents.  The motion picture camera, the “quadruplex” telegraph, the carbon microphone (in the first telephones) and, among many others, a patent for the “carbonized bamboo” filament.  Joseph Swan was the first actual inventor of the electric lamp, but Edison’s design and research actually turned out a better, more efficient version.  Edison’s bamboo filament was said to burn for over 1,200 hours.  That’s more than some lamps I’ve bought at the store this year!

Big Tom Edison’s also accredited for the invention and design of the phonograph – the “record” player, for any of you crazy kids who don’t actually know what this is.  (I wanted to cry when a young student in Arlington, TX asked me “what this thing is” while holding a turntable in her arms)

Check out a video of Edison reciting his first recording, a voicing of “Mary Had A Little Lamb” in 1927:

Also, another very, very hip video is Edison talking about his invention, the “electric light bulb” and its development:

One thing that Thomas Edison did that is essential to our development as a technically adept species was to implement and develop a mass-production system for industrial operations.  That bit of knowledge he imparted to the industrial trades is revolutionary.  He is also credited with creating the first industrial research laboratory, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.  This place had a little bit of everything – Edison wanted to store some of “almost every conceivable material” in this place so that he and his people could invent freely with no inhibitions.  The Menlo Park facility took two city blocks to house.  Holy geekfest – that must have been almost as awesome as the Mythbusters Studios!

Edison’s Menlo Park lab:

To be fair, there are a couple of pretty un-awesome things that Edison did that are noteworthy, one of which led to the development of the electric chair.  George Westinghouse was one of Edison’s competitors, and probably most well known for alternating current.  Edison and Westinghouse had a pretty fierce and nasty battle over whose invention was better – direct current (Edison) or alternating current (Westinghouse).  In the “War of Currents” that ensued, Tom Edison was so persistent on proving that Westinghouse’s AC was unsafe (regardless of the fact that it was actually better than his DC for long-distance distribution).  Edison and his people publicly electrocuted animals to show that AC essentially killed them quickly.  Yeah, Tommy, that wasn’t very cool of you, dude.  One notable execution was Topsy the Elephant – a Coney Island attraction that killed three abusive handlers over the course of three years.  Edison filmed this event – I didn’t feel good about embedding it in this post, so here’s a link to it, via a post about Topsy the Elephant.  That video on the site is not terribly graphic or anything, but it’s freaky in its own right.  I’d kill somebody that was abusing me like they did you, Topsy.

Topsy was electrocuted with a 6,600VAC source.  Maybe AC triumphed over DC in the long run because of some bad karma Thomas brought on with his war on alternating current.

Thomas Edison was attributed with the following quote, which kinda cracks me up after reading the above research:

The dove is my emblem…. I want to save and advance human life, not destroy it…. I am proud of the fact that I never invented weapons to kill…

So, enough pointing out a man’s flaws on his birthday – thanks for all of the good things you did, Thomas Alva Edison!  Just a few more things we can thank Tommy Boy here for (a non-exhaustive list):

  • the fluoroscope (an x-ray that takes radioscopic images)
  • the stock ticker (well, okay, but really who needs that?)
  • the Lackawanna Railroad’s electric trains (Hoboken to Gladstone, Montclair, and Dover, NJ)
  • Edison General Electric
  • the printing telegraph
  • Typewriting machines (and all kinds of associated parts and pieces)
  • the magnetic ore separator
  • brakes for electromagnetic motors
  • a patent for preserving fruit
  • governors for electric motors
  • the telephone (and other related stuff)
  • the arc lamp
  • a gold extracting process from sulphide ores (random…)
  • wireless telegraphy

Thanks Tommy!  If you ever come back to life, I’m buying the first beer.  If you come back to life as a zombie, I ain’t promising nothing.

Just as something to watch that explains a little more about Edison’s involvement with the Electric Chair, here’s a copy of The Pinky Show – “Thomas Edison Hates Cats.”  There is a tiny clip of Topsy’s execution in there, so just be warned.  The video is, however, presented by a talking cat:

Thanks, Wikipedia, Worldwide School, and Thomas Edison!

Luxim’s LIFI Technology – A Follow-Up with Tony McGettigan at Luxim

One of my favorite things about digging into our industries is the people and relationships I make through research and interviews.

I recently had an email chat with Tony McGettican at Luxim Corporation, the folks who are making the LIFI plasma lamp.  Their unique and innovative product is becoming widely spread across all of the lighting industries, and it’s been an exciting addition to the Entertainment industry.  Seachanger is using a LIFI lamp in their NEMO fixtures, Robe is using a LIFI lamp in their ROBIN moving heads, and as the industries realize the merits of plasma tech, we’ll see a lot more of that lamp in the very near future.

I asked Tony a few followup questions a few weeks ago, after having a great email interview with him earlier in the year.  I’ve been tracking their progress for a long time, and I will continue to do so.  Questions and answers are below:

JimOnLight.com:  The last time we talked, Luxim’s LIFI source was just grabbing footing in the Entertainment lighting market with a plasma-source for Robe’s ROBIN series moving head. Now, great companies like Seachanger are getting in on the action with a LIFI source in their NEMO CMYG fixture. Are there other entertainment ventures that Luxim is participating in to date?

Tony McGettigan @ Luxim: We are very pleased with the Robe and Seachanger programs.  Each has been recognized in the industry as ground breaking in terms of performance and innovation.  There are several exciting new projects in the pipeline that we will be able to share more on later in 2010. You may be aware that Robe won the Innovation Award at PLASA in London as well as the SIEL Award in Paris last year.  In addition, the SeaChanger Nemo won the 2009 LIGHTFAIR Innovation award in New York.

JOL: How has the LIFI technology changed or improved since gaining partnerships in the entertainment industry?

Tony @ Luxim: We entered this sector with market-leading color quality and lifetime.  Our focus is now on increasing brightness.  We are doing this in two ways:

  • By developing more efficient systems at the current wattages, AND
  • By adding higher-wattage product offerings to our line-up

JOL: Has Luxim seen a larger market share in the infrastructure and civil lighting markets since the release of the LIFI product?

Tony @ Luxim: Our technology is being adopted in all sorts of applications from aquariums to grow lighting to zoos.  In the infrastructure and general lighting markets we are gaining share as a high-illuminance complement to LED solutions.  Several of our customers have a strategy of using LEDs in general lighting applications up to 15000 lumens and using our technology where higher output is required. We have a customer in the US that already has secured orders from 5 different cities and municipalities.

JOL: There’s lots of news stories about new and innovative LIFI applications, from aquarium tank lighting to mobile lighting applications for the construction industry. Can you give some insight on the new projects in related industries that Luxim is pursuing?

Tony @ Luxim: Here are a couple of examples where the unique attributes of our technology are helping our customers deliver better lighting solutions.

  • In Aquariums, our source can deliver excellent color quality AND excellent penetration into the water.  This dramatically improves the visitor experience.  The fish show beautifully while plants and corals can thrive deep below the tank surface.

  • In grow lighting, our sources increase the “seeding rate” and show faster, more efficient early-stage growth than competitive sources on the market.

There are many more examples, but this gives a flavor.  The uniqueness of our light source is apparent at first sight.  In each of our applications, customers are harnessing some of the unique features to deliver a superior overall lighting solution.

Jim, these are very exciting times at LUXIM.  Light Emitting Plasma is gaining significant acceptance in the marketplace and we continue to improve upon our technology.


Tony, we’re so excited to see what comes next for Luxim and the LIFI technology.  You have many fans in the JimOnLight.com community!  Thanks for your time, as always!

Super Bowl Halftime Show – Starring The Who, and THE LIGHTING!

I just heard on NPR last night that 106.5 million plus people watched the Super Bowl on Sunday – more people than any other event on TV in the history of the world.  The last thing that had that kind of viewers was the final episode of M*A*S*H*, back in 1983 – 105.97 million.

(for those of you kids who have no idea what M*A*S*H* is, it was a show about surgeons in a war zone)

One of the things that is still getting some major press is the big spectacle half time show, starring The Who:

For those of you who are like me, I paid more attention to the lighting design for the Super Bowl half time show than I did The Who – I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think they rock.  They did at least when they were younger.  Who did rock this time was the lighting design team and suppliers for one of the biggest shows of the year – and the rumor is that the entire rig had a total of six minutes to get on the field and working.

Oh – and pre-viz/lighting design for the Super Bowl Half Time Show?  It was done in Cast Software’s wysiwyg Suite!  OH YEAH!  (That’s right, I love it, you love it, and it is the epic awesome.)

The Super Bowl XLIV Lighting Team – definitely not an exhaustive list, and my apologies for the hundreds of people who got left off the list:

Lighting Designers:  Al Gurdon
Designer:  Bruce Rodgers of Tribe
Lighting Directors:  Bob Barnhart and David Grill of Full Flood
Programmers:  Mike “Oz” Owen, rocking the Vari*Lite Virtuoso, and Pete Radice
Rental Company:  PRG USA and PRG Europe
Lighting Crew Chief/Gaffer:  Richie Gorrod
Media Programmer:  Jason Rudolph

An update from Jason Rudolph himself – thanks a lot, Jason!

Lee Lodge was the creative producer handling content, which was made by Loyal Kaspar out of NYC.
XL video was the video vendor. The stage was made of 3000+ MiStrips, driven by 2 HD hippos provided by VER, Matt Waters was the server tech.

From XL Video, Ken Gay and Bob McGee were the project managers. Mike Spencer was the system engineer. Luke Pilato was the head system tech. Led techs were Rodrigo Azuriz, Trace Deroy, Douglas Eldredge, David Imlau, Fernando Gutierrez Llama, Curtis Luxton, Stephen Otten, Eric Petty, Rod Silhanek and Don Stevens.

An update from Margaret, who sends the URL of Loyal Kaspar, the company who did the video content – http://www.loyalkaspar.com

Update - Jason Rudolph writes back (Feb 11, 2010) [Thanks, Jason!]

I can tell you this, the LED fixtures in the rig were Color Blocks, most of the fixtures were VL3500 wash units with the clear lens installed, on the stage were Color Blasts, and Iwhite color blasts.  Atomic strobes all over, and a few lightning strikes for good measure.  There were also a few Alpha Beam 1500s in the rig, but I’m not sure where they were.

Oz programmed on a Virtuoso VX, I was on a DX2.

We had 2 HD hippos, and one HippoCritter for pixelmapping the Color blocks, which we only used for one song, its output was merged with the console output so that we had both as an option.

If you know any people who worked the crew, give them a shout out in the comments – what a terrific job they did!

I am expecting an equipment list soon – I will update this post as soon as I get it from my source.  But for those of you who didn’t get to see this amazing lighting feat, below are two videos, part one and part two, of the half time show.  Enjoy!

(Thanks, Times Online, for the image of The Who!)

Vectorial Elevation – Submit Your Designs!

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is at it again – you might remember him from posts on JimOnLight.com about a few of his installations – Pulse Park, Levels of Nothingness – and now, he’s got another massive interactive installation.  Vectorial Elevation is installed right now in Vancouver, BC…

…and on the Internet.  YOU can participate.  YOU can create a design online with Rafael’s custom setup and have your display created in real time, in real space, in the skies of Vancouver.  I did!  20 @ 10K SyncroLite units slam through the air, creating whatever it is that you decide to create.  How many of you have designed light art of this magnitude?  I can tell you that it is one of the greatest things I’ve ever experienced – and now you can all submit a design that will get played back and photographed – and that you can share with the world!

The interface is easy to use, the system emails you when it’s ready to play your design in the Vancouver air, and it makes you a little website with images of the virtual design against the real design, from several angles.  Check out my JimOnLight.com design, entitled “A Light Hug for The World“, and check out some images below:

Everybody:  go participate in this awesome event!  How can you go wrong?!  Create something you want the world to see!  You can also watch other aspiring light artists’ designs live!  If you submit a design, post a comment on this post so everyone can see your work!  If enough people post a comment (or you can contact me via the JimOnLight.com contact form if you prefer), I will make a post with a list of all of your Vectorial Elevation designs.  Leave a comment!

Imogen Heap’s Tweeting Dress – The Twitdress

Do you remember Moritz Waldemeyer?  He’s the guy who built Bono his crazy laser jacket for the 360 Tour. Moritz is an amazing designer – he’s designed illuminated clothing and all kinds of crazy stuff for many famous people – Rihanna, the band OK GO, Michael Jackson, and the Black Eyed Peas to name a few.

His newest “thing” is a dress made for Imogen Heap to wear at the Grammy Awards – LED flexible fabric, with an interface designed by MSA Visuals that displays tweets and photos in real time coming from the web.  Awesome!

From the Times Online:

Heap, who composes her songs at home in Essex, attended the ceremony in a “Twitter dress”. At first sight her self-made outfit consisted of an oversized necklace studded with flashing lights and a transparent handbag that doubled up as a television. In fact, the necklace was a digital sign displaying messages that her fans were writing on to her Twitter profile. Those tweets were relayed to her jewellery through a wireless router — equipment that provides an internet connection — embedded inside her black dress.

Check out some images and a video:

A video of Imogen and her dress a-tweeting:

One Week of Never-Ending Sun

Whoa.

When you live near the Poles, there are points of the day at times of the year where the Sun never goes away.  I just saw a video where someone has recorded a week of this never-ending Sun traveling through the sky.  Check it out below – very excellent!  Seems like good VJ content…

Thanks, LikeCool!