18. Photonic modulation of light and space
Photonic Light-Space Modulator
What do we see? A transparant light cube of 3x3x3 meters high, width and depth with an embedded supercomputer in the pond of the TU/e building Atlas. The concept is based on the art piece “Licht-Raum Modulator” of the Hungarian art designer László Moholy-Nagy. The TU/e (existing now 60 years) and the Van Abbemuseum (now 80 years existing) wanted to reconstruct the art work that resides within the museum at an outdoors campus location.
How does it work? The light cube consists of panels containing 20,000 full-colour LED lights, which are controlled by an embedded supercomputer. That supercomputer consists of tenths of small computers. The sculpture of metal and glass is located in the middle on a rotating platform. This sculpture is a good replica of the art piece of the Van Abbe museum and reflects the colored light. The tiles in the panels ‘recognize’ each others position and form, and communicate with each other, so that in this way the light movements of the sculpture are correctly created on the panel walls of the cube.
Who made this? The TU/e group Video Coding and Architectures of Electrical Engineering, and more specifically professor Peter de With and assistant professor Egor Bondarev, have constructed the replica of the sculpture, after it was accurately scanned in 3D with their 3D reconstruction software. The replica is based on this scan and developed, together with specialized metal company GPM. Georgios Metaxas of the company Ambianti has worked for weeks, day and night, to design the ‘supercomputer’ and its embedded software and did the tuning and testing of the system. Also, this company has embedded the electronics in the transparent tiles, which are made of polymer and are waterproof. The Technical Physics faculty and the Institute for Photonic Integration have consulted about this project.