Light may be the oldest visual medium, but recent advances in technology have created exciting possibilities for artists working with new media. Modern addressable LEDs are tiny computer-controlled full color lights that you can embed directly inside your sculptural works and installations. You can program motion and color to set an emotional tone, respond to the distant outside world, and respond directly to a visitor's actions.
This class has no prerequisites. We'll learn enough programming and electronics to make the art go, and there are many ways to make your project uniquely your own.
Requires a laptop with two free USB ports and Wi-fi,
Mac OS 10.6 or later / Windows 7 or later.
The class project is small enough to travel with, but it teaches the techniques you'll need to make large installations: walls, rooms, sculptures, vehicles. You'll learn to use the Fadecandy controller, which lets you use full-size creative computing tools like Processing to create animations and interactions for your light art using smart LEDs you can fit in almost any space.
The same techniques you learn in this class can be expanded to larger installations with thousands of LEDs, and to embedded computers like the Raspberry Pi.
The class project is an 9x9 inch picture frame, a digital "shadow box" that includes 104 individually addressable LEDs, a Fadecandy controller that can drive up to 512 LEDs, and a 5V 10A power brick. The kit also includes a basic USB camera for computer vision experiments.
During the class you learn enough about electronics to safely wire your LEDs, and you can experiment with crafting materials and various animation techniques. Learn to make your LEDs react to touchpad input, music, or motion. Afterwards, you can use your shadow box as a starting point for further experiments.