Day 3

Today started with old glass dishes on top of a lampshade and a cheese grater, accompanied by a rotating cake stand. This might sound ridiculous, but when combined with various LED arrays, it yielded some rather snazzy abstract images. They had a definite entoptic quality, seeming to hack right into the deep neuronal pattern-recognition algorithms hardwired into the human brain. There are whole columns of primary visual cortex that sit waiting for stimuli matching sequences of concentric circles. If I recall correctly, the processing actually starts in the retina, where overlapping clusters of photoreceptive cells are set up in such a manner as to make them adept at detecting overlapping concentric regions of dark and light falling on the back of the eye. I like this idea, as it links today's reasonably high-tech time-compressing activities with some of the oldest anthropogenic motifs recorded in the North east of England, these being the concentric designs of the 'cup and ring' marks found adorning the rock outcrops of Late Neolithic Northumberland. But I digress.

There was also the manifestation of large light orbs, which displayed a god degree of the review and repeat aspect of developing a light paint shot. There was also much creative employment of a spinning chair, and some soldering iron work to renew the connections of the Arduino powered LED array, which following a quick software tutorial was then programmed by one of the participants to allow a short animation of an old retro-gaming classic, the space invader.

The stencil technique continued to be developed, with more stencils created and frames constructed to allow for tighter final results. A small laser device was used to create an intricate spirograph effect, motor powered spinning LEDs were used to create light vortices and some Star Wars style sots were created using light sabres and off camera flash to allow one person to appear to be doing the Jedi vs Sith stuff against themselves in the same shot. Another adaptation was put to frequent use today, by using a lens cap whilst the shutter was open to increase the options available to a long exposure shot.

Last night, one of our participants (slightly wistfully) expressed a hankering for a hula hoop bedecked with lights. I didn't hear this, and so when I was later texted to ask if it might be possible to create such a contrivance, I was most chuffed to be able to step into my kitchen and select the appropriate battery-powered-hula-hoop-LED device. This was put to good use today, though it did raise an eyebrow or two on the Metro this morning.

Published: 5th April 2012
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