1999Included in "Second Nature" a group show of artists working with technology in the last year of the 20th Century.
This LED Cube is the first 3D animated LED matrix in the world for which I received my first patent. It is a matrix of 125 (5x5x5) LEDs stacked in glass tubes, each LED individually controllable in software. The driver board was a custom design using an Atmel AVR 8515 microcontroller (from the preArduino days of AVR). The piece had been inspired many years earlier by a musical composition I had been working for 9 celli called "Continuum" in which the cellists are arranged in a square on a stage and 'pass' notes around from one to another. The score for the piece (illustrated below right) was the visual inspiration for the cube. I had always imagined how nice it would be to pass points of light around the stage as well as just the notes from player to player. It took 15 years for me to learn the technologies necessary to make it work.
"I have been working with digital electronics for over 15 years. This medium involves a precise control of electrical power at a microscopic level with time measured in microseconds and space in microns. Because most of what goes on is imperceptible, it is easy to forget that the operation of digital circuitry depends upon the control of physical forces as fundamental and powerful as gravity and magnetism. Often, the blink of an LED (Light Emitting Diode) is the only physical manifestation of the inner workings of a digital circuit, a "sign of life", if you will, providing a small window into this strange and complex world; an embodiment of the digital spirit.