Firefly "Skin"

Something magical happens when invisible air currents are translated into pixels of light. With "Firefily", we begin to see the unseen, and we are very seduced by the results.

Jason Krugman, creator of Firefly, calls it "a wind-responsive solar powered LED facade." An 870 LED prototype was on display last night at the ITP Spring Show on 8th and Broadway.

Each of the LEDs is attached to a dangling wire, and at the end of the wire is a flat plastic circle. The plastic acts as a sail, flailing around in the passing wind and taking the wire with it. When the wire bobs around, it brushes against a metal strip with a live current running through it. As a result, the circuit is closed and the LED flashes on.

Krugman's piece is notable for its clever mechanism, but its success really relies on his refined aesthetic choices. All of the materials involved in "Firefly" are carefully selected, and they make it a piece of art. Visitors were indeed engaged by the glittering curtain, and they approach to interact with it in their own way. Some people were blowing on the little units; some wanted a bigger reaction and fanned it with a board.

Video of Firefly can be seen here: http://www.jasonkrugman.com/projects/firefly870/

See also: http://itp.nyu.edu/itp/

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