Icy lights

| 2 Comments

I'd like to explore the idea of waiting with my sketch, by creating something that responds to the time of your interaction with it. I'm imagining an LED that is embedded in an object that you can pick up and hold, perhaps a paper mache ball or an ice globe. The LED lights when you pick up the globe, and turns off when you set it down, but it's not a simple on and off -- instead the LED fades depending on how long you held the globe: a slow fade if the globe was held for a long time, a short fade, if the globe was held briefly. I may play with animating the light in some way while it's on -- making it pulse or flicker or change color in some way. I may also try the reverse -- having it turn off when you pick up the globe, and slowly turn back on.

ice-sketch.jpg

Feb 15, 2011: I've been testing the program, as well as the ice and parts. The circuits aren't seeming to work when encased in the ice (the water is shorting them), so I think I'll need to use heat shrink around the leads. The LED illuminates the ice in a really nice way, though.

ice-lights2.jpg

Feb 18, 2011: Yesterday I got a couple of version of the program working. In one, the LED starts dim, becomes bright when you hold it, and fades out when you set it down. In the other, I tried a suggestion of Teroy's and flipped it so that the LED starts bright and gets dim when you hold it. I've just been prototyping it with a small paper globe, and I haven't incorporated the tilt sensor yet. I know that will change things... The tilt sensor is still a little finicky, so I think I need to play with the pull-up resistor value (perhaps?). This is the biggest challenge I'm facing at the moment.

paper-globe-feb17.jpg

2 Comments

I like where you're going with this.

Something I would think about is how you can communicate the action of "charging" the ice objects. I feel that simply turning on at full strength upon picking the object up might not communicate the idea that it is time based. Perhaps if it changed color or brightness up to the point where it has been "fully charged" and then as you let it go it fades out.

Another thing to think about is how you address the cold as an element of the work. Housing the objects in a warm and rather melty place speaks to impermanence and metamorphosis.
If the objects are displayed in a cold place, discomfort or maybe isolation.

I like your idea as well. I also like what Bradley said about the light fading out. I was thinking it may be great to have it fade out the longer you hold it almost as if it was dying out because you were taking the energy away from it. It would be interesting to maybe see different shapes or objects that the ice were made out of, like if you were to make some kind of ice tray style molds...

I think it looks great so far, would like to see a bunch floating down the river or lake or?

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