light box with custom electronics and LEDs

This digital poem was commissioned by poet and curator Kathryn Born for the One Line Collective Project at Flat Iron Studio 205 in Chicago. Twenty-seven artists were selected and invited to appropriate one-line poems from Kathryn’s book by the same name. Isa incorporated her chosen poem into an LED display, using an Atmel microcontoller to program expressive behavior.

In the left half of the display, diffuse blue light slow fades up and down, in a rhythm reminiscent of ragged breathing, to illuminate the word “lonely.” In the right half, 93 points of red light flash randomly and independently, creating frenetic patterns that intermittently reveal the word “panic” for brief moments before degrading again into chaotic abstraction.The box itself is intentionally distressed, including a significant hacket-mark shearing the top frame, suggesting a battered and volatile state. In the lower corner of the display, a prominent button tempts the viewer to turn the message off and escape from its intense energy. Gallery attendants were told to encourage visitors to touch the piece: “go ahead, push the button, it’s ok.”

Isa Gordon: Concept, design, software
Kathryn Born: One-line poem
DEvan Brown: Fabrication and circuits

…PANIC emerges…
…and degrades, while lonely breathes irregularly
wiring to 93 individual LEDS, grouped into series of 2 or 3 lights, each series controlled independantly and lit for random cycles at random intervals
prototype testing