Data-Driven Light Sculptures

Varied realtime data animates across RGB LED sculptures.

Data-driven Light Sculptures have become one of the many specialties of Code on Canvas.

One of these was Space Folding by artist Zina Kaye from Holly. This was shown at The International Symposium for Electronic Arts in Dubai and at the Vivid Festival in Sydney. Space Folding is a sublime sculptural installation where real time flight data drives animation and sound. We worked with a team that Zina put together to map these animations across the lights.

This work builds off an ongoing series of seismic data driven projects with artist DV Rogers. DV’s installation Earth Light Seat was our first such install and evolved into the impressive Domus. These were Romantic installations driven by both realtime and historic seismic data. Seismic animations would move across the lights and connect the viewer to these monumental global events as they happened. Periodically they would then also play through the great quakes of the last few decades. The data also drove some haunting spatial audio put together by Ryan McGee, another member of the team that DV assembled for the project. Domus was shown at Materials and Applications in Los Angeles and was then moved to a new home in a scenic part of rural California.

These projects have involved working closely with engineer Mark Lottor of 3WayLabs to move beyond dated lighting hardware and protocols to create something truly flexible and dynamic. This included implementing the new DDP Protocol (Distributed Display Protocol) to drive these installations. Here at Code on Canvas we are big supporters of open source software so you can find our DDP libraries for use with Cinder and OpenFrameworks on github.

Code on Canvas co-founder René Christen’s experience with LED dates back years to his time with Spinifex working on the world’s largest 3D LED Matrix for the Shanghai Corporate Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo. These experiences have led us (pun intended) to build custom LED mapping applications that help speed up development and configuration of all our lighting installations, whether they use DDP or more traditional protocols.

ESI Design and Spinifex Group. Shanghai Corporate Pavilion, Shanghai Expo, 2010.