Yesterday my family and I visited the Palm Springs Art Museum.  It was a great tour.  On the top floor we saw a electronic light scuplture by Jim Campbell entitled (Birds)



The small description next to the piece noted the artist was inspired by a Scientific American article. The articel described the very minimum amount of information humans need in order to interpret visual data.  His sculpture is an exploded LED matrix which you can clearly see birds taking off and landing.

From what I counted the matrix had 50 rows of 25 LED each - The LEDs  were arranged in a successfully "random" order - the effect was great..   And even better, my wife said - I should make one !!!  And she would do the wiring !! Yay !  

If my cacluations are correct - the sculpture takes 1250 LEDs - Initially, since the Arduino breakout board was the last thing I looked at - I can imagine 2 Arduinos each with 62 break-out boards would give me individualt control of 1984 LEDs - Some things to consider are :   62 X $15 X 2 = $1860 - just for the breakouts - This seems a bit expensive, although I believe the PWM control would be higher resolution than the original artists sculpture. But what the hell, it was sanctioned by my wife.. she didn't say anything about budget ;)



Another video with the artist narrating. I find the comments at the end particularly interesting.  Specifically, the fact that you can "see" certain images only when they are moving.  When the images stop moving - they disappear.  A example of how important movment (and primitive) movement is to our visual system.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Cix's picture

Amazing effect !!

Amazing effect !! the experiment clarify the differences between what the eyes see and what the brain percepts: only some dots are interpreted by our brain as a shape (bird). It is a psychological behavior of our brain.