Devicer: “Software Controlled Light Systems”
Devicer designs and makes software controlled LED lighting systems. His bespoke lights and control systems are used in a range of contexts from live music displays to design studios – anywhere that needs customised lights. While this concept has obvious commercial applications, he also makes experimental projects such as drawing machines, laser turrets, light painting rigs and various other cool things that push the boundaries of Art and Science in new and unnecessary ways.
These projects are enabled by Arduino style microcontrollers and publicly available software libraries for Processing and Cinder. In case you haven’t come across Arduino before, I’d explain it as an interactive interface between hardware and software – an open source system that allows you to control things in the physical world from a computer. In Devicer projects this involves setting colour palettes on RGB LED arrays, modulating them with noise in various dimensions, controlling stepper motors, shining lasers from pumpkins etc; more practical IOT examples could be switching the lights off when you leave a room, or controlling a thermostat from your phone.
Light painting is a concept as old as photography, reinvented for the maker generation. Painting an image across a photo frame using time as a dimension allows you to essentially project a picture onto thin air, and as Pete refines his software and the quality of LEDs constantly improves, we are rapidly approaching some kind of home-brew visual effects singularity where high definition imaginary objects can be portrayed in real photos.
We understand you could make similar images with Maya or even Photoshop, or buy a basic ready made light painting system (Pixelstick did a successful Kickstarter for a similar concept, making it easier for anyone to try light painting). But where would be the fun in that? Making something from scratch requires understanding it – plus Pete’s modular software routines can be reused in new projects, or implemented to apply unique effects to video footage. We even made it to the front page of Reddit with a GIF of this experiment…
Light Painting: Schrodinger’s Rainbow
This project is a inherently photogenic, its central purpose is to make things that look good. And as a personal benefit, taking photos around Edinburgh at night makes a nice change of pace from filming diplomats and entrepreneurs. Most importantly, some concepts and inventions don’t actually exist in any tangible way until reified by camera, light paintings don’t look like anything to the human eye but make for great photography. Taking photos of things that aren’t really there is an inherently appealing concept; it also has a practical benefit of making me consider how light behaves physically, and how people perceive and interpret it.