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Magical High-Tech Lights Reveal Their Crazy Side Only On Video #ArtTuesday

Wired posted about this great project from Japanese designers Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi. We had lots of fun making animated gifs of this project 🙂

Much of today’s technology is invisible to us. Take the radio waves that power today’s wireless communications. It’s immense infrastructure that we simply have no way of seeing.

“Rate” is a clever lighting concept that’s invisible–but only some of the time. In person, these hanging lanterns look like typical white lights. On camera, however, they appear to strobe with bands of color.

Created by Japanese designers Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi, the magic comes courtesy of super high frequencies–the lights change their color patterns anywhere from 1,000 to 1,000,000 hz. The less-than-ideal video above shows them installed at Tokyo Designers Week in Milan. But the concept is cool enough to spend some time thinking about.

With the proliferation of cameras that come with today’s smartphones, we’re creating more images of our world than ever before. Another way of putting that: more than ever, we’re experiencing the built environment through the mediation of lenses. “Rate” urges us to consider the opportunities that exist to design for this photographed world.

It’s not an entirely new idea. William Trossel and Matthew Shaw, working under the name ScanLAB, have explored a similar concept with their “Stealth Objects“–a variety of hypothetical interventions that subvert laser scans of urban areas by creating phantom walls, distorted buildings, and other spatial anomalies in the data.

“Rate” suggests other sorts of possibilities. You could imagine art exhibitions rendered unphotographable by to special lights that deploy obfuscating walls of color in front of artworks. Or wearables that emit dazzling light-based accessories–but only when seen through through smartphone video. Think of it as a different–much more fun–flavor of augmented reality.

Read more.




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