Leif Maginnis’ ArtStrobe

image1Image courtesy of Leif Maginnis

Leif Maginnis’ ArtStrobe

Formally schooled as a painter and later as an industrial designer, Leif Maginnis worked for years in the television and film industry, working with electromechanical props and other special effects. Only recently he has merged this experience with his fine art and industrial design training.
 
A central feature of Leif’s work is interactivity. The electronic light art that he makes is interactive and can be manipulated with buttons and knobs. Each viewer creates their own unique visual experience.

image4Image courtesy of Leif Maginnis

The ArtStrobe is interactive, kinetic light art. It works by spinning an object that has fluorescent-colored patterns on it. Ultraviolet strobe lights are aimed at it and rings of bright fluorescent patterns emerge, transform in color and move in and out of focus. The user can change these patterns by turning two knobs mounted near the ArtStrobe. Wherever Leif shows the work, people are fascinated by it and are puzzled by how it works, even after he explains the technology.

image5Image courtesy of Leif Maginnis

His discovery of the idea for the ArtStrobe was unexpected. The project he was working on at the time was not art-related. He was working with shortwave UV lights and UV LEDs. He had a UV light array that was pulsing and he had a piece of cardboard with fluorescent ink patterns painted on the surface. As he passed the cardboard under the pulsing light, he noticed these elaborate colored light patterns appear from the fluorescent ink. He thought this was amazing and quickly set out to make a spinning prototype to test out the discovery.

image2Image courtesy of Leif Maginnis

After making an 18 inch prototype, he set out to make a much larger one. He made a large piece covering a 60 inch aluminum disk. He arranged a series of concentric fluorescent colored circles on its face. He built a steel tower to mount it up high so groups of people could all see it. He drove up to the annual Burning Man Festival in Nevada to show the work. It was well received there and he got a lot of good feedback about the work. From there he branched out to other revolving shapes and new fluorescent patterns.

Back CameraImage courtesy of Leif Maginnis

There are a lot of possible applications for this technology. He has prototyped a number of different arrangements of lights, colors, and other factors. He couldn’t determine why he had never seen anything like this, until he learned that UV LEDs were not developed until around 1999 and not cheap until years later.

more. artstrobe.wordpress.com/category/artstrobe/

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