I am currently helping Gernot Tscherteu and Wolfgang Leeb with building their large boxLEDs wall. The design is really simple. It is just a stack of milky plastic storage boxes with a Traxon RGB led panel inside. Building the installation is extremly tedious. The wall consists of 299 boxes and one cannot even imagine how many paper boxes and bags have to be opened just to unpack all the hardware. Unpacking a new gadget was always connected with so much fun and excitement. After unpacking 299 LED circuit boards, opening the box of my next new device will be quite different. The wall is about 6 meters high and building the last 5 rows is progressing slowly, because we just have one platform on which one person can do the wiring. Still it is quite satisfying seeing the wall grow. Have a look at the work in progress gallery!
After lots of work (see my post about the interactive installation “IR Pong“) and interesting talks during the Media Architecture Biennale conference I had time to do a video that showcases the boxLEDs wall and added it to the gallery!
Some additional tech info: The Traxon LEDs are connected to a “Buttler” controller from e.cue, which again is fed with DMX data from the e:cue “Programmer” software running on a PC. Inside the software are two cue lists, one includes two videos by Catherine Ludwig (thats the video that makes the wall blink in my impressions video), the other just activates the input stream of a S-Video capture card inside the pc. The capture card is connected to the S-Video-Out of another PC, that renders my Pong game. The e:cue software handles the transformation and scaling of the input video streams to the resolution of the wall and sends the color values to the boxLEDs according to a hand made, virtual patch grid that relates dmx addresses to video screen coordinates. My pong game sends messages to the “Programmer” via UDP to switch between the two cuelists depending on whether there is someone inside the gamefield or not. The four lines of boxes in front of the wall are connected to the “Programmer” too and form a bigger screen together with the wall. In other words, the lower third of the video stream that is played in the e:cue software is displayed on the box lines and the upper two thirds can be seen on the wall. The iPads display the same color as the boxes they are standing on. The “Programmer” sends out ArtNet (an open source DMX over IP protocol) packets via Wifi, that the ipads interpret inside a custom iPad app. When rotated to landscape position, the ipads switch from “Pixel Mode” to “Exhibition Guide Mode”. They can be borrowed by visitors to get additional information about the exhibits.