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  • Writer's pictureMichael Horn

Photonic Vibrations

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

This is a very big project I am undertaking for Crab Devil art collective in Tampa. It’s an immersive exhibit that fills a 40’x8’x8′ shipping container with rings of lights on every surface.

Check out the awesome video they posted for the Penninsularium here

While the penninsulareum was under construction, Crab Devil chose 2 container exhibits to preview at the Gasparilla Music Festival and the Gasparilla Arts Festival. My exhibit was chosen for the Music Festival.In this video, you can see the preview, which featured 24 panels mounted on the walls and ceiling, which respond to proximity and motion by monitoring reflected light using infrared sensors, the same way your cell phone camera detects focus distance. Using iterative mathematics, direction of motion can be determined and applied to "sprites" to create the effect of living creatures moving across the boards that can be pushed by using your body or hands.

The preview is largely to demonstrate the technology and create a pretty effect to play with while live DJs spun beats inside the container. In the final version, the programs will be much more refined, and there will be about 3 times the panels, covering the rest of the container surfaces, including the floors. It will also allow panels to communicate and synchronize effects, in the demo each panel operates alone.

The container is expected to be re-opened soon as part of Phase 1 of the building construction.

Here is a video of most parts of the build process:

Here is an early prototype of a single panel:

Because each panel has its own "brain" and operates autonomously, the software includes automatic updating from one panel to the next, so I can update dozens of boards at the same time.

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