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Vaughn Hannon


2 min read

It's been quiet in my creative world...but not uneventful. Over the last couple of months I've had the pleasure of working with Cynthia Minet on her upcoming installation, "Migrations." Cynthia is an accomplished artist and her creations are constructed from post-consumer plastics and LED lighting. Migrations depicts six Roseate Spoonbills in varying stages of flight. With this sculpture Cynthia hoped to push the lighting a little further than she had in previous work. There were two goals.

  1. Have greater control over the color and brightness of each LED
  2. Add movement to the sculpture by animating the LEDs

After some initial conversation a third goal popped up. If we're going to be programming these LEDs could we also add some motion activated audio to immerse the viewer in the world of the spoonbill? After some testing we settled on the P9813 LED pixels. The plastic casing around the actual LED helps diffuse the light. The fact that the strands run at 5v was an added bonus.  To program the lights and the motion based audio I knew we were going to use something in the Arduino family. The spoonbills do not have a ton of room inside of them so we opted for a Trinket to run the lighting and a Trinket Pro to run the audio system. Ideally everything would run off of one board but that just wasn't feasible here. This also cut down on the cost for each sculpture.  The next few posts will get into the details of the wiring, programming, testing, and installation of the lighting and audio systems.  If you're around this weekend (Oct 21 and 22) you can see the sculpture in its current state at the Brewery Art Walk. Art Walk runs from 11a-6p both days.