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Rube Goldberg Machine of Light

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Dear Japanese marketing company who invented this video, that advertises a high-speed internet company called au Hikari:
I love you all so very much.

Sincerely,
JimOnLight

This whole video starts from one single beam of light — every piece of the Rube Goldberg machine is powered either in part or en toto by that one beam.

Thanks, Colossal!

Vintage Power and Light: The Coolest Thing to Happen to Tungsten Since Edison!

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If you’ve been to an architectural lighting, entertainment lighting, or decorative lighting trade show lately, you should notice an interesting trend:  the lack of attention to incandescent light sources.  The light emitting diode has overtaken the world, and like myself, I miss the days of the warm tungsten filament in a room, bathing everything in its reach with a wider spectrum of color than its LED counterparts.  Tungsten filaments, at least decoratively, have become the fine wine of our lighting generation – only those with the intelligence and artistic knowledge in using tungsten and other incandescent sources have continued to do so.  The rest of the world is convinced, at the behest of excellent marketing and often regardless of price, that LED illumination is not only the way of the future but also today’s only way to appropriately design lighting.

It’s a fact that in many applications, including modern high bay methodologies and architectural applications, LED light sources are winning hearts and minds over their higher-energy-consuming incandescent cousins.  Sooner than later we’re going to see higher output automated fixtures giving their HID counterparts a run for their money, too.  ETC’s LED Source Four ellipsoidal, Chauvet’s Ovation LED ellipsoidal, Altman Lighting’s ME3 ellipsoidal, and Robert Juliat’s Tibo and Zep LED profiles have taken the market by storm – and have begun pushing back on the use of tungsten-halogen sources, arc sources, and even halogen sources!

On the whole, energy costs when dealing with a large facility or venue are where LED and non-incandescent sources make a monster difference in energy costs.  But what about where energy costs are negligible, like in your home?  If saving comparatively a few dollars here and there in your home is less important than the feeling and artistic appreciation that something like an incandescent lamp brings to you, can you put a price on your happiness?  I’ve owned many a compact fluorescent lamp-based fixture in my home, and frankly I replace every single CFL with its halogen or incandescent counterpart.  It’s my decision, and I do what makes my eyes and my brain happy.

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On that thought, I introduce to you the work of Vintage Power and Light out of Austin, Texas – creator Lowell Fowler (of High End Systems fame) has started a new hobby art venture based on utilizing the beauty and intrigue of vintage lighting and electrical equipment tied with the warm glow of incandescent sources.  Even better than just the sexiness of a glowing filament structure, Vintage Power and Light takes the beauty of an Edison filament wrap source and melds it to gorgeous finished old-world wood components, then adds stunning copper and brass connections and controls.  My favorite parts of Vintage Power and Light’s work are their use of Consolidated Design glass insulators – there is nothing quite like a multi-petticoat glass insulator on a fixture with an artistic incandescent filament turning that glass into a mystical piece of glowing jewelry.  GAH!  This stuff is amazing!!!

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Lowell and York Fowler have put an interesting new spin on the idea of Steampunk-esque design by bringing old-world components and combining them with early 20th century incandescence.  The result is a stunning and refreshing take on using incandescence as not only an artistic statement, but a comfortable, familiar, and heartwarming addition to your house, office, or anywhere else that LEDs just don’t cut it.

Check out a series of gallery images below, click on any image for a light box of that gallery for your perusal!
Just make sure that you give credit where credit is due, and all of these photos are courtesy of Vintage Power and Light with photography by Tim Grivas.

First things first, Vintage Power and Light’s Table Lamps:

Vintage Power and Light’s Chandelier and Pendant series:

Got a Steampunk jones?  Vintage Power and Light does that too!

Last but not least, a gorgeous offering of sconces for your collection:

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JimOnLight says HELL YES to Vintage Power and Light.  Awesome offerings, guys!  We hope that the whole world sees your work and loves it as much as we do!

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P&O Cruises Ship, The Pacific Pearl, is Twice as Amazing with Projections!

Vivid Sydney 2013 just wrapped up in Sydney, Australia – I mean like on the tenth of June wrapped up.  Vivid Sydney 2013 is a celebration of light around the Sydney Operahouse, and really all around the city!

This year, P&O Cruises took their beauty of a sea vessel, the Pacific Pearl, out for a spin with one small exception — projections all over the boat.  You have GOT to see this!

First, some video:

P&O Cruises – Vivid Sydney 2013 from Romina on Vimeo.

and:

Then, from Alice at MyModernMet, who was apparently in attendance for this amazing visual occasion and makes me very jealous, posted some awesome shots from photog Craig Jewell.  Peep these photos:

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Here’s the Pacific Pearl without any lumen interference:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/craigjewell/with/8853297151/

Flickr user FlashFlyGuy — http://www.flickr.com/photos/9028007@N05/5421600846/in/photostream/

Awesome.  Stay tuned for more from Vivid Sydney 2013! 

 

Infra, A TV Built from Remote Controls from TVs

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All of the remotes in the world that wind up getting lost in couches and/or accidentally stuck in the refrigerator are all cheering right now, mostly because Chris Shen has turned the tables for them. Meet Chris Shen‘s installation called Infra, which is composed of 625 re-purposed remote controls hooked into a Peggy and made to broadcast low-res live TV, albeit in infrared:

INFRA by Chris Shen from Chris Shen on Vimeo.

625 discarded remote controls, repurposed to broadcast live television using the infrared LEDs inside each device. Creating an infrared display invisible to the naked eye. When viewed through infrared goggles, the light becomes visible and the low resolution TV broadcast can be seen.

A TV made from remote controls.

Exhibited at 18 Hewett Street, London – January 2013
More info: http://chrisshen.net/infra

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Awesome. The also equally awesome compadres over at Evil Mad Scientist Labs also got Chris to talk a bit about how he made everything work — which these guys are really, really, really good at doing! Chris Shen used a modified Peggy 2 from the Evil Mad Scientists’ Lab — the Peggy 2 is a pegboard-kind of system that can drive 625 LEDs into a display. Chris modified his Peggy 2 with Molex connectors and then again on each remote so they could be plugged directly into the Peggy 2.

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I love being a nerd.  We are inheriting the Earth.

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Something extra cool — an interview with Chris about Infra at Post New.

One Hundred Live and Die from Bruce Nauman

Another statement from an artist I’m seeing now as a cross between VIcki DaSilva and Dan Flavin — Bruce Nauman’s work, One Hundred Live and Die, is absolutely chilling to me:

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From the post at The Fox is Black:

One Hundred Live and Die is what many consider to be Nauman’s masterpiece. Sad and hopeful, One Hundred flickers through each possible flippant, mundane, and tragic way to live or die in a blaze of neon exuberance. Each phrase (“LAUNCH AND LIVE,” “FALL AND DIE,” “SPIT AND LIVE,” etc.) light the room with its orange, blue, white, or whatever color it may be. It paints the room and provides a surprisingly profound commentary on life, telling a story with each phrase, reiterating just how fucked up life can be (which may elicit tears, laughter, or blank stares). In the end, One Hundred resonates with all one hundred phrases lit, blindingly beautiful and a little overwhelming.

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LEDs, Lady Gaga Smell-Well, and Projections at Nuit Blanche 2012

Did you go to Nuit Blanche 2012 in Toronto in October?  Laura and I did, and we took some photos that I’m just now able to get to after the trade show season.  I spoke with lots of people on the street at Nuit Blanche this year, and everyone seemed to have a great time — the only thing that was a bit hard to manage was the influx of people that were present downtown for this event.  There were some awesome exhibits and light installations — but anything interactive was pretty much mobbed with people and hard to really get a sense of the artists’ messages.  Regardless, it was a lot of fun!  Check out some photos below, and experience my entire trip with the photo gallery at the bottom!

There were some fun words at the top of this post that describe how f*cked up some of the Nuit Blanche-goers got, it’s worth a quick peek.  It’s totally true — lack of organization, and a real lack of general community.  Read the post.

As we walked by the Hudson’s Bay Company in Toronto we noticed this freaky storefront window scene that we had to stop and check out — and it was Lady Gaga’s perfume on display.  That’s some pretty crazy perfume marketing, huh!  I definitely liked the design enough to take photos…

Lady Gaga's Smellwell

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Apparently this perfume makes you smell like a psycho mad scientist:

Lady Gaga Does Window Displays

Oh, officially of course Lady Gaga had nothing to do with Nuit Blanche, but her display was part of MY Nuit Blanche, so that’s why it’s here!

Something that we saw but didn’t really get a chance to experience was Beam of Underground Sun by Arezoo Talebzadeh and Kaveh Ashourinia — ostensibly, they had taken some very bright LED sources and put them down under the street at several meters down.  Arezoo and Kaveh also added some powerful fans and some silk cloth under the street to give the effect of waves of light being cast up through the grate they chose in the street.  Check this one out, it is beautiful, especially with the photos of no people around it:

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This, however, is what the real Nuit Blanche Beam of Underground Sun experience was, which was different than intended I assume but had its own jua de vive, if you will:

It was still beautiful, just mobbed with people standing directly in the way of the beam and the overall everything of the piece.

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You can kind of see down into the shaft with the fan, the fabric, and the LED units:

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It was pretty cool to be standing in an intersection of Bloor Street with no one trying to honk at me or run me down!

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Probably one of the coolest things I saw this year at Nuit Blanche was the installation called Planes by Tricia Brown Dance Company — and it was awesome!

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…and behind the walls you can see a little behind-the-scenes action!  I almost didn’t want to see this — the movement of the dancers and the projections themselves were so riveting that seeing the how-to took away from it for me.  Ah, the life of making mystery for the audience!

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Check out the Gallery View below of the Nuit Blanche event in Toronto — and check out the official Scotiabank page on Nuit Blanche so you can see the intended (and actual) views of the art from this year’s show!

The Best Use of Light and Shadow is Love

Fabrizio Corneli made a shadow and a reflection into a light statement of love.  Meet AMA, which means love in italiano:

Is that not just awesome or what?!  Shadow propagation and reflections all calculated so that they spell the word love.  I think that’s the best use of light and shadow together I’ve seen lately.

Check out Fabrizio’s website, he’s got fun work there!

Late Night Excellent: Rain Room at The Barbican, 2012

This is absolutely great.  Before I say sh*t, watch this:

Rain Room at the Barbican, 2012 from rAndom International on Vimeo.

OK, no, wait, watch another video, it’s late anyway:

GAH!  This is too awesome!

First and foremost, THIS IS STILL GOING ON at the Barbican Gallery, and WILL BE until MARCH 3, 2013.  SO, this means you need to get out there and see it!  If you live in the London metro or are going to be there between now and March 3, 2013, you need to check this out.  Go to the Barbican Gallery visitor’s page and get some info on the what, when, where, how, by clicking here!

Rain Room was created by rAndom International –

From the Barbican Gallery’s page on rAndom International‘s Rain Room exhibit:

Random International invites you to experience what it’s like to control the rain. Visitors can choose to simply watch the spectacle or find their way carefully through the rain, putting their trust in the work to the test.

More than the technical virtuosity necessary for its success, the piece relies on a sculptural rigour, with the entire Curve transformed by the monumental proportions of this carefully choreographed downpour and the sound of water.

Random International are known for their distinctive approach to digital-based contemporary art. Their experimental artworks come alive through audience interaction and staged performance.

Random International are represented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery, London and Paris.

In order for visitors to enjoy the sensory experience of Rain Room, there is a limited capacity of 5 people at a time in the rain.

Please be aware that due to the popularity of Rain Room, the queue time currently stands at around two hours, at peak times including evenings and weekends up to three hours.

We advise visitors to arrive as early in the day as possible, a minimum of two hours before closing time. Entry to the queue is subject to the number of visitors already waiting. Anyone arriving later may not be allowed to join the queue as we are unable to admit visitors after the gallery closes. Thank you for your patience.

Sun 18 Nov, 2 Dec, 20 Jan, 24 Feb
12-5pm, The Curve
Wayne McGregor Random Dance, with a score by Max Richter

Experience a unique fusion of art and movement on four Sundays during the exhibition as dancers respond to Rain Room.

Admission is free and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis from the queue. Please arrive early to allow for long queues due to a very limited capacity inside the Curve.

I also think this text from rAndom International’s website on Rain Room is pretty awesome too — but please check out the rAndom International website, it is absolutely a eye-stroking experience!

Water, injection moulded tiles, solenoid valves, pressure regulators, custom software, 3D tracking cameras, wooden frames, steel beams, hydraulic management system, grated floor 

Rain Room has been made possible through the generous support of the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art.

Video by Gramafilm, music by Max Richter

Rain Room is a hundred square metre field of falling water through which it is possible to walk, trusting that a path can be navigated, without being drenched in the process.

As you progress through The Curve, the sound of water and a suggestion of moisture fill the air, before you are confronted by this carefully choreographed downpour that responds to your movements and presence.

* PS I LOVE THIS! 

All of these images are directly from the rAndom International website, and I thank them for it!

Chris Fraser Has A Brilliant Mind

There is something about light emanating through a slit in a surface that just blows my mind.  As suggestive as that comment is, I ensure you it is not meant for that kind of thought, even though I know about half of you out there immediately went there.  What you’re seeing above is the genius of Chris Fraser, a light artist from San Francisco.  His work is definitely pretty awesome — this particular case above is a “line drawing” of his from Oakland, CA.  The one below is called Points, Lines, Planes from the Performance Art Institute:

Chris’ work is like a crazy slit spectroscope of whatever light source is in front of it — like in these below, he did them as on-site pieces of work, creating something magical at a given day and time, never repeatable again.  You have to see more of Chris’ work:

Excellent, and beautiful.  I have got to see some of this stuff up-close and personal.

PLEASE check out Chris Fraser’s portfolio site and his Experiments on Flickr — VERY cool stuff!

This is my Chris Fraser-esque work for the day, a la 2007:

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Thanks to Lost in e Minor and We Waste Time!

Interactive LightBoxes from Enlighter and Light Act

I got an email a little while ago from Mitja PrelovÅ¡ek who runs the lighting website Enlighter.  (Sorry I haven’t posted this yet Mitja, I’m in just released software land!)  Enlighter did a project recently with interactive product called Light Act, which is pretty cool — imagine tracking a person as they walk past a store front, and allowing the lighting to literally interact with them as they realize they’re being entertained.  Now that is what I call outstanding!  I thought sticking a large pixellated box in front of a video display was pretty creative, this kinda just blew my mind and made me have a morning period of creativity!

Check this out:

From the video description:

Interactive LightBoxes is an interactive lighting installation using 1 reActor and 2 SmartView modules from LightAct system. These modules control 6 light boxes that through the interactivity draw people closer and invite them to interact and play with them. The message displayed on the light boxes gets across much more easily while the interactivity helps to save energy.

This is outstanding, and it’s not really that complicated!

The system itself is a motion tracking-type system that has some extra translators for lighting protocols other than DMX (like DALI for architecture and any pulse-width modulation signal stuff for homes and buildings), along with a software suite that allows you to either write your own code or use the software to set up your “interactivity barriers” as we would call them.  Check out a diagram of the system — opens up to 1024 pixels!

Awesome work, Mitja and the Enlighter crew!  Thanks for letting us know about your project!