ONGLOWING - AN INTERACTIVE LIGHT SCULPTURE


WHAT IS ONGLOWING?

As a symbol of Vermont College of Fine Arts' unique communication and independent work style, in addition to having VCFA students and faculty working all over the world at all different times I designed a light sculpture using both IFTTT and WeMo to remotely activate as VCFA students and faculty communicated with each other during my final MFA semester.VCFA never closes and there's a good chance VCFA work is being done at any moment anywhere in the world, I wanted my installation to represent this.

 

HOW ONGLOWING WORKS:

IFTTT is a service that enabled me to create ‘recipes’ that fit a simple structure, if this then that. The ‘this’ part of a recipe is a trigger. My main trigger was ‘If I receive an email with VCFA in the subject line.’ The ‘that’ part of a recipe is the action, in this case the action is ‘turn the WeMo switch on then off’. A WeMo switch is a Belkin product with the ability to be controlled from anywhere in the world via the internet.

As students and faculty in both the Graphic Design program and other VCFA programs from across the country and world communicated with each other using specific social media channels they were able to activate the light sculpture. Once the signal to turn the device on was triggered it then ran through 4 channel chaser controller which animated the lights on the hung display.

The light sculpture was installed on VCFA’s campus during the Graphic Design residency in October of 2013 for students and faculty to observe and interact with. Those not on campus were able to view and interact with the light sculpture via a live camera feed. So a student in another VCFA program was able watch the light illuminate from their social media participation while working on their laptop at home.