Luminous Sculpture is a light sculpture made for an interactive music performance created in collaboration with composer and director Timo Kreuser. It is a modular stage object with a shape inspired by a large horn.
The sculpture consists of a large cone divided into five separate rings made from nearly 100 unique folded triangle-shaped sheet metal boxes whose inner surfaces are covered with programmable LEDs displaying visual content controlled by the production crew. The setup has a versatile design which allows the appearance of the object to be changed to accommodate different stage setups.
The control program for the LEDs was developed in Processing and the object uses input from either on screen video capturing or OSC. Data is sent to the individual rings via Art-Net/DMX, a protocol commonly used to control stage lighting and effects in theatres and other stage environments.
To date, the sculpture has been used in two productions in Oslo and Berlin, and we are currently working together with the director to develop the light choreography for an upcoming collaboration.
This application enabled the production team to prepare their visual content and easily test it before the sculpture was built. An on-screen capture window transforms the captured images to a virtual 3D model of the actual sculpture providing an ad-hoc feedback.
The final controller application uses the same capture system like the simulator. However, it allows for a multitude of image adjustments like color balance, gamma, brightness control and mirroring. It also listens for OSC messages from other applications like Max/MSP or Pure Data and allows them to control the lights as well.
The screen capture approach performed very well and allowed a wide range of content, from live video to computational graphics, to be displayed on the sculpture.
The concept for the irregular shape of the light sculpture was done mainly in Blender, an open-source 3D application.
The final shapes were solidified and each module was computationally unfolded to a flat shape, that was suitable for sheet-metal fabrication by a custom script in Blender.
All neccessary features like holes for rivets and mounting, connection flaps, cable ducts and folding lines were automatically generated.
The generated blueprints were automatically numbered, cleaned and nested and sent off to be cut from 1.5 mm sheet metal (mild steel).
Each one of the nearly 100 unique metal pieces sheets was bent into shape, mounted together and powder coated. LEDs and acrylic covers were added in the last step.