Floribots, a massive art piece created by Geoffrey Drake-Brockman in 2005, is essentially an array of 128 simple folding paper flowers that are mechanically controlled. Each large flower extends out of a rigid base, and is capable of mechanically “blooming” and extending higher. Geoffrey acquired help from Altronics, ArtsWA, JED Microprocessors, Onesteel, and family members to help construct Floribots[1].

Part of what makes the Floribots unique is that the collective array operates under one simple hive mind. As a whole they react to stimuli sensed by special “flowers” along the outside edges, creating dynamic patterns of motion to display a collective artificial mood. Essentially, the Floribot matrix senses motion around it and, based upon the nature of the movement, reacts differently. Based on its programming it can perform either solely or a combination of the following traits, or “moods”:

Asleep – A dormant state after the Floribots are deprived of stimulation for an extended period of time. All the bots go to a resting state, and is incapable of detecting movement for a short period of time.
Blip – A single rapid movement while the Floribots are waiting for stimulus, but aren’t asleep.
Bored – A dance of sorts in which the Floribots are, in a sense, trying to attract attention. This pattern occurs when stimulation is below a certain threshold.
Excited – A semi-random sequence of movement displayed after a particularly intense amount of repeated movement is detected.
Naughty – A series of movements Floribots perform while Bored and unable to attract attention.
Reactive – A wave-like sequence in which all the floribots bloom at a set interval in response to motion stimulus. The reaction changes based upon location, and repeated motion detection at the same location causes diminished “waves” as the hive mind grows accustomed to that particular stimulation.
Wake Up – A “stretch-like” movement they flowers make when initially turned on or awoken by stimulus from the Asleep state.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUjPu0Jif-U height:220]

The Floribots can even mix different moods of varying degree, creating new and transitional behaviors. All of the artificial “organism”s reactions, moods, and movements are controlled by a microcontroller in one of the central flowerpots, which essentially manages the entirety of the hive mind[2].


While not strictly a body augmentation, Floribots can be considered a form of Cybernetic art based upon their purpose as a reactive component to human body movement. The sensors are meant to intake input from people moving around them, and react in a somewhat predictable but “living” manner.




Aporia is a collection of installations by South Korean artist Lee Jung. Each of the installations consist of some sentence or phrase spelled out in neon against an empty, natural background.

Lee Jung earned an M.A. in Photography from the Royal College of Art, UK, a B.A. with honors in Photography from Kent Institute of Art & Design, UK and a B.A. with honors in Mass Communication & Journalism from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea.

The word “aporia” comes from a greek word meaning “dead end street” and the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as: “An irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction in a text, argument, or theory.” [1] The name of the piece combined with the subject matter of the piece really reveals some of Jung’s thoughts on the concept of love. Much of the text used in the installations talk about the concept of love very specifically (such as the one that reads “I love you with allJung-Lee-I-Dream-Of-You-2012.jpg my heart” and the one that reads “Have you ever loved me”). Though of the other text does not all specifically use the word love, they are all concerned with the theme of love in some way. The piece was inspired by Fragments of a Lover’s Discourse by Roland Barthes, a book containing fragments of literature and philosophy about love; all the text Jung uses in Aporia comes from this book.

Some examples from this piece such as the one that reads “how could you do this to me?” or the one that just reads “Why?” shows that even though love is a emption most people would consider positive, it can be extremely complicated and can have negative effects on people, such as in the case of unrequited love, or the loss of a loved one.

The piece itself seems to be drawing specific attention to some of the potentially negative aspects of love. Not only are some of the negative feelings associated with love spelled out in neon, but every piece of text, positive or negative, is set in a desolate natural background. Lee Jung says she was inspired to do this because she was thinking about the emptiness and lonesomeness of neon signs that could be found in the city, and wondered what would happen if she brought them out to a totally empty place. It is the juxtaposition of this very romantic language in bright neon set against a dreary, empty background that makes this piece so hauntingly beautiful.

Lee Jung said about the work:

“As I was working on the Bordering North Korea series, I got more and more interested in incorporating text into photo and was completely intrigued by the concept of ‘language as an image.’ The new exhibition of the Aporia series took its motif from A Lover’s Discourse by Roland Barthes. In this essay, Barthes discusses the dilemma experienced by people who fall in love. If you fall in love, your beloved becomes a sort of mystery so that you will ceaselessly try to figure out the reasons for your feelings for him or her and to interpret them. The desire to express your love produces lies and conflicts and leads to a dead end that is a love. As you endlessly consume the trite words of love, the object of your affection will eventually become the love itself instead of love. The sweet nothings being reiterated in the air, unable to reach anyone between you and me, seem to ironically reveal the solitude and sorrow of people in contemporary society.” [2]


[1] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/aporia

[2] https://www.hfscollective.com/august-2013-korean-art-lee-jung


“FLOW,” a site-specific design commissioned in 2010 by the Downtown Louisville Arena Authority, is “is an Energy Mural that expresses the [Ohio] river in real-time using light and movement [1].” Taking real-time data from the river (provided by a data collection near the site), including flow rate, volume, temperature and surface condition, the data is then “interpreted and expressed with computer software and an output system consisting of individually addressable RGB LED and a light diffusing polycarbonate shield [2].” The project is still under construction, but advance images show the work to be massive in scale, spanning the full length of one of the arena’s walls.

Similar in style to Parker’s earlier work, “Sweet Crude,” FLOW takes a more positive spin on a nonetheless strong environmental message. Rather than showing the results of a disastrous event, FLOW celebrates the intrinsic beauty of water and movement, and of bringing natural order together with technology to create a merging of the organic and the constructed. The use of light and the wavelike shapes of the structure reflect the medium it embodies–fresh moving water–and aptly demonstrate the power and complexity of this priceless natural resource. 







Sandison installed Chamber in 2009 at the Denver Art Museum Blink exhibition. The spatial immersion installation has flashing lights from words and figures that move across the walls of the space. “My technique,” Sandison says, “consists in painting with light, time and basic elements.” His aim as an artist is to “transport the viewer to alternative ways of thinking” (http://damcontemporaries.denverartmuseum.org/). 

The work, Chamber embraces the unique architecture at the Denver Art Museum. The projections overlap and tangle in a sea of repeating letters, words and phrases. The words and letters group together and flow, however individual words and letters also move across the walls. The colors flow into one another and often entirely new colors are created in the combinations. There is juxtaposition between the text forms and the chaos in the environment.

The simplicity of the forms within this work creates a primitive space. It is interesting to note the way that the repetition of the simple words and phrases changes the meaning of the text. 








Crystal Matrix II


Presented at Design Miami, the piece incorporates sixteen kinetic modules connected to a rotating disk suspended from the ceiling. Each module contains a disk with a crystal on it. The disks are illuminated by multi-colored LEDs and incorporate a continuously changing color and sound sequence, (Redl, Crystal Light Matrix II). The beauty of the crystals is accentuated by the use of the LED lights, and the simple audio gives a subtle ambiance to the experience. Spectators walk around the installation, getting multiple vantage points at the various crystals and the LED effects on them. The spectator is immersed in both sound and light, watching the rhythmic manipulation is both peaceful and awe-inspiring. 



Redl, Erwin. PDF: http://www.brand.swarovski.com/Content.Node/ourinitiatives/architectureartdesign/crystal_matrix/Crystal-Matrix.pdf

Image: http://jeffersonj.tumblr.com/post/13228905618/crystal-matrix-ii-by-erwin-redl


Deep Walls

Deep Walls is a 2002 interactive installation created by Scott Snibbe. The exhibit features a screen with a blank 16 square grid projected onto it. When a viewer walks past the screen their shadow is recorded, and the motion of their silhouette is played randomly in one of the small boxes a short time later. The result is an ever changing collage of moving silhouettes and expectations, where each person’s unique movements are set on delay then played amongst others. While evoking the surrealist films that inspired the piece, its unconventional and open design allow for a constant evoltution within an unchanging frame.[1] Because each person can choose persiscely how long they want their recording to last, the piece becomes a group conception of time with movement. In other words, it becomes an artwork of personal ‘moments.’ 

Deep Walls (2002)


image credit:





Contemporary neon artist Craig Kraft, known for his wildly curving neon abstracts, takes a different approach with his commisioned work, drawing from the connection between neon and jazz. His public sculpture, “Vivace,” (2005) was inspired by the musical genre, and he says of this inspiration; “Good jazz has an improvisational quality, but it also has an underlying structure. So in this piece, the ribbons kind of gather in the center, but then they kind of move unpredictably from there.” The sculpture is ponderous in both size and scope, consisting of bunched neon tubes branching out in a bouquet-like structure from a conical metal base. Numerous colors are used and the exhibit, which is lit only at night, leaves rainbow reflections on the glossy aluminum. The library in front of which the sculpture is placed was built around the same time “Vivace” was conceived, and although Kraft did not work directly with the architect, he notes that the achirtecture of the library and the sculpture play harmoniously off one another.


Information courtesy of TBD and artist website


Self-Portrait with Spectre


Neon artist Lili Lakich was influenced by neon roadside signs she saw while traveling with ehr military family, and began to use neon as a medium in 1973 after learning from a local sign company. Lakich uses found objects, honeycomb aluminum and assorted metals to create wall-mounted pieces such as “Self-Portrait with Spectre” (2002). Created as both a response to the September 11th attacks and the end of Lakich’s fifteen-year relationship, the lifelike portrait of the artist is superimposed against the neon outline of the spectre, who holds a flaming gun to contrast the revolving lights over the portrait’s aluminum heart. The spectre itself relates to the emblem of an AC-130 gunship that fired on a wedding in Afghanistan in 2002, killing hundred of civilians.

The emotional weight of the subject matter might seem unsuited to a medium like neon, but instead the moving lights create a subtle chiaroscuro effect on the aluminum, giving the image itself more life than it would have had, had it been a non-electronic installation.


All information courtesy of wikipedia and artist website.

Self Portrait with Spectre


Jenny Holzer’s piece from 1998 titled Rome is a series of text projections displayed in Rome at the Spanish Steps. Phrases like “who died looking,” and “whose thoughts are missing” are projected on the steps. Jenny Holzer says that her work “focuses on cruelty in hopes that people will recoil.” She addresses issues of violence, identity, gender, government, politics, war, death, and power. Her public works could also be seen as an effort to reclaim the public space that has become increasingly privatized. Text is central to her work, and the words themselves are a message that text found in urban spaces are not without a place, time, and author.

The ephemeral nature of her medium, light, in combination with the content, the ever changing but seemingly static human condition makes an interesting combination. Words are fleeting however they are also powerful and this is highlighted in the light projections Holzer uses to transform any space into her own canvas. 







MATRIX II was created by Erwin Redl. He has investigated the term ‘reverse engineering’ since 1997 by (re-)translating the abstract aesthetic language of virtual reality and 3-D computer modelling back into an architectural environment with the help of large-scale light installations. Space, experienced as a second skin, is transformed by the artist. Also, “due to the very nature of its architectural dimension, participating by simply being “present” is an integral part of the installations. Visual perception has to work in conjunction with corporeal motion, and the passage of time, an additional parameter of motion.The formal aspect of the works is easily accessible. An interpretation and understanding of this aspect is dependent upon the viewer’s subjective references. Equally, the various individual’s interactions within the context of the installation re-shape each viewer’s subjective references and reveal a complex social phenomenon.” [1]

MATRIX II is a room-size work that offers its vistors a space that seems to go on in all directions, as if the walls were mirrored. Floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall, the room is filled with grids of phosphor green LEDs, creating an immersive web of light. [2] It gives the visitor a very disoriented feeling as the light seem to flow directly through your body. Then another piece comes to mind with this. It might not look very similar, but the way the green lights of MATRIX II lights up, makes it seem like lasers, even though they are just very bright lights. Therefore, a resemblance with Day Passage from Rockne Krebs can be made. Day Passage was an installation specifically made for in an interior space in which the lasers showed magnificent multicolored lights. [3] MATRIX II however only shows a very bright green.

The Asociación Arte Concreto Invención wrote in their Inventionist Manifesto that “man is becoming less and less sensittive to illusory images. (…) Scientific aethetics will replace the age-old speculative, idealistic aethetics.” [4] This is good news for Redl as his work almost requires binary logic. That is because he assembles the material according to a narrow set of self-imposed rules which often incorporate algorithms, controlled randomness and other methods inspired by computer code. [5] Although MATRIX II does not seem to be linked with computer codes, there is a rigid aesthetic to the installation, that resembles a structural code. 


[1] More information

[2] Rhizome

[3] Edward Shanken, red. Art and Electronic Media. London: Phaidon, 2009: p. 68

[4] in Edward Shanken, red. Art and Electronic Media. London: Phaidon, 2009: p. 194

[5] More information



TV Buddha (1974) Closed Circuit video installation with bronze sculpture. [1]

This work was produced as a gap-filler for an empty wall in Nam June Paik’s fourth show in the Galeria Bonino, New York. Shortly before the opening, he hit upon the idea of making a TV viewer out of an antique Buddha statue once purchased as an investment. The subsequent addition of a video camera meant the Buddha now watched his videotaped image on the screen opposite – past and present gaze upon each other in an encounter between Oriental deity and Western media.[2] Paik has also managed to create an infinite loop.

[1] http://www.paikstudios.com/gallery/1.html

[2] http://www.mediaartnet.org/works/tv-buddha/>