ANNIMATED LED CHARGES

PROGRAMMED LED WALL CONSTRUCTIONS: 2020 –

INTRO

 

The catalyst For this series goes back to art school in the early 1970s .

It was seeing huge illuminated slide projections of paintings on the screen in the darkened art history theaters that inspired. From Abstract Expressionism onward, these projections would impact me more than the physical paintings which we would see on the occasional school bus trip to NYC. It was not the theatricality of the darkened room but rather glowing color that ‘emanated’, rather than ‘reflected’ , as happens with a painted surface. By the late 70s  I started to explore neon and integrated it into my work:

   Light trail timed exposure     

PhotoPerformance 1980    /      NEON 1980s       /           NEON 1985 aprox

                                            

 

 

 

 

By the 1990s metallic car caught my eye: Light would enter its transparent tinted surface and reflect off the deep down metallic particles creating a good illusion of glowing. Not pure radiating light, but better than ordinary paint.

 

Red Charge 1992

                

 

 

 

 

 

By the 1990s I was fully entrenched in ‘computerland’, glowing monitors and photo manipulation with Photoshop. From this point onward I explored flat emblematic abstraction using Photoshop as my main tool. I attempted to print these work and to recreate them as ‘paintings’ ………. But never to my satisfaction. I knew that it was the combination of the image and the backlit monitor that was , for me , the magic combination but I could not  arrive at a satisfactory mode of presentation. The image always seemed to be ‘in’ the monitor. Around 2018 I became aware

of  artists using individual,rigid RGB LED modules normally used au mass to assemble huge outdoor TV displays. They were using tiny Raspberry computers to control the moduals.  I was absolutely overwhelmed.  During the 2020 Covid lockdown I discovered bendable LED panels and Arduino programmable control boards that would work together. So I orderer parts and the current LED constructions started.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main components are: 16X16cm flexable RGB LED panels and Arduino programmable control boards. The support system is made of 2020 aluminum T slot extrusion and reconfigured TV wall mounts and power boxes. Arduinos are programed with C++  code.

 

John Francis

Aug 2021

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