I got a little blip of a Slashdotting when I wrote about the Stuart Pivar incident, but my friend Brian Neltner — expert in genetically engineering viruses to his bidding, and black belt in a martial art which teaches eyeball extraction as a standard “defensive” move — has got the real deal. He designs LED artwork, you see, incorporating UV lights and other extra goodies to create colors which can’t be captured in a camera or reproduced on a computer screen. Imagine a room bathed in smoothly shifting wavelengths of vivid color, changing the appearance of everything they touch as pigments vanish or merge only to arise again in new, deceptive patterns.
That’s our living room.
The total effect of these LED fixtures is a combination of both additive and subtractive color mixing. Oh, and if you look directly at the UV LEDs without the protective diffuser screen installed, well, you better not look again with your remaining eye. Normal people, when we tell them this, back away, but for some reason, MIT students always need to check for themselves.
What do you do with an Ultraluminous Illuminator of Doom? Well, you shine it on artwork! Brian and his mother Janet went to great lengths to find pigments which work well under polychromatic precision light:
You can get a slightly better sense of what the lights are doing by watching the movie (artwork, “Stained Glass Window,” by Janet Fox; soundtrack, “Tuvan Dream,” by Brian Neltner). All sorts of technical goodies for the electrical engineers can be found on Brian’s website.