Light sculpture project 1

Techniques used:
The concept of this project was to explore 2D painting in 3D form. As a continuation of my work I used an abstract painting I completed in Fall of 2014.
I designed a practical sculpture that includes a storage space for the hardware and uses flexible reflective materials. I used Mylar due to it’s translucent quality that LED’s could shine and reflect. I used common metal flashing that could be cut and formed for structural integrity and a base to build on. The code for this piece is fade; I added a time frame where one light grouping would fade-out while another group would fade in. There were four groupings of six lights. Four LED complimentary colors were chosen; Blue, Orange and Yellow Violet. The piece is suspended from the ceiling using fishing line and balanced to potentially slowly spin on its own.

Concepts explored:
I worked with complimentary colors positioned in groupings of one color dominating a section. The mylar was crumpled and designed to capture the colors by proximity. Colors next to each other blended. The low hanging mylar captured less light than the upper part of the work. The concept addresses light traveling and interacting. With a group of lights fading at different times, different part of the sculpture are revealed through light and reconfigured as the light reflects on the crumpled and mis-shapen mylar. These changes are also dependent on viewer location and the rate at which the work spins at it’s axis.

Content explored:
The use of fading LED’s is a way to put thoughts and emotions into a physical form. Emotions can be intense, unpredictable, overlapping, timeless and illusive. The mylar reflecting the “light emotions” is the lingering effects of connecting thoughts and emotions continously to ourselves at every moment.

Critical feedback:

This work has the potential to exists on a larger scale and/or with multiple singular forms hanging in a space. To expand upon this work I would need to consider working more extensively with the mylar/ LED relationship as it co-exsits in the form. There are moments where some of the LED’s are revealed; I would like to explore having them not showing and yet get the luminosity I am striving for in the work.

Final Photos:

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Final Video:

The sculpture is taking form with metallic materials.  Metal flashing for support and mylar crumpled for an interactive reflective surface staged for various colors of led’s the sequentially light, one led activated and the next led activated 1/3 of the way through the fading light sequence.

In-class feedback

I didn’t get much small group in-class feedback.   The random code was brought up and curiosity about how to create that code.  Based on my description about what I was going to created in class and what I created have many differences.  I had originally planned on a random code, but realized I like the effect of offset sequencing.  I also decided to expand my color choices to 6 rather than 3.  I had also considered scratching images into the mylar, but realize crumpled was active enough.  I am staying with suspending the work and imbedding a box that contains the battery operated Arduino uno.

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Kinect Art 298 independent project

I would like to gain experience working with the Kinect as part of an installation art work.   It would be a viewer interactive work that is activated by motion.  A simple code with simple activation would be a key part of the art.  When the viewers/s enter the range of the Kinect their proximity and gestures will activate line digital line work.  The line work will be activated as long as there is movement in the space.   With no activity image will default to a still image of the work.  The line work will be based on previous art I have created with paper, acrylic and ink.


Light Sculpture project 1

Tammy Helenske

Sept. 10th


This Led light box is intended to address the addition and subtraction of various colors with the use of reflective materials.  The random component of the work is created to have infinite color patterns and versions metamorphosing visually with light and physically with form.  The work will shift in a loop with each new form reflecting through abstract mylar shapes on the adjacent sculpture walls and the ceiling space above the form giving the work a sense of the infinite and finite.

The final product will be a sculptural (interior). It will be abstract through color and shape. An ever evolving diorama will reflect the use of additive and subtractive color.

Step 1:  purchase 4 12” x 12” Hard transparent plastic boards and attach in a “U” form. Tap plastics.

Step 2: Cut 4 12” x 12” pieces of mylar, cut various forms to the mylar and attach with glue, end to end to the interior of the plastic box.

Step 3: Set up Arduino code to run 3 primary colors, red, blue and yellow

Step 4: make a chain of LED at the maximum amount allowable with an Arduino uno board. The will randomly activate each LED and have random smooth transitions from color to color.  Running anywhere from 1-6 lights overlap or simultaneously.

Step 5: Attach the entire chain behind multiple layers of mylar, hidden behind it.  Activate the piece with a battery-operated power source.

Step 6: Create a weight baring shelf out of wood 12” sq. and attach project to wall or set on eye level pedestal next to wall.

Spring 2018

Projects for consideration: Break down the components from 131B.

Project 1 

131B or Studio?

  1.  Expand viral pool laser light movie:   Re-stage the experience at the vernal pools.  Add more lasers and get the smaller ones to work.  Wear clothing that allows significant movement.  Mark the path of movement.  Record long clips and allow pauses in-between for editing.  Slow and fast movements are ok.  Decide how the projection will be activated, if at all.
  2. Physical presence: Cover entire room in black tar paper. Cover the floor with mylar, this time wet down.  Projector in place.
  3. Sound activated on walls with hand touching. Use 8. re-record sound something more ambient abstract, not heavy handed sounds like voice.
  4. Present in video form for review.

Project 2 “Swimming”

Recording in the pool; new work

  1.  Record pool, maybe different pools? doing the breast stroke. Use underwater camera.
  2. Use after effects to put objects in the water; come up with a list of objects.

Project 4 “Fence”

  1. Bring into from yard,  integrate foam bed with lights?

Project 3 “Foam bed”

  1. Taking the foam from Barmicidal Banquet and forming into a shape.
  2. Lighting: set with lighting internally and objects falling on the

Project 4

Florin Mural Process

  1. Post on studio wall, conversations email, images, photo’s blown up, conflict, journal the process.  Need push pins with mini hammer.
  2. Use a time lapse to record process.
  3. Set up recording videos

131B Virtual Reality Process

131B went through a variety of processes and changes over a 2 month period.   I will separate out the each component: how they started and how each was resolved, or not.

131B Projection of Form

I choose a component of a previous work (Barmicidal Banquet) and explored further possibilities.  Barmicidal Banquet (see installations) used laser lights reflecting off my body created an effect of spots of lights moving organically as my body moved.

I started video process by recording first in my garage; light pollution was an issue. I decided to stick to my original idea of recording at the Vernal Pools at Mather Field park at night.  I purchased an inverter to power the laser lights from my car.  The new moon was  helpful for an especially dark evening.   I set up the laser lights off to the side on a dirt road. The Vernal Pool’s environment was calm, quiet and on  a vast expanse of flat land with an endless crooning of coyotes responding to distant sirens.  The experience help me focus and move my body in a way that supported my content ( visual escape)

The projection in the 131B space (10’x12′) did not translate as well as expected due to limited projection distance. I compensated by zooming in to the image, which changed the how much of the form played out in the space, the illumination and focus.

131B Projection Video

This video doesn’t exist

131B Sound

The sound was  recorded in clips or tones. The sound clips would be activated when a visitor stepped on the 8 FSR’s (Force Sensor Resist) within the space.   During the wire soldering of the FSR’s were damaged and reduced to 4.  Four FSR’s were successfully soldered and installed.  I used Arduino Uno code based on a few different codes combined to activate the FSR’s  (react to varying degrees of pressure).   A “Processing” code was created  to activate the sound bites and communicate with the Arduino Uno code.   With the significant help of Peter Williams a Processing code was created.  And Although the code did not play the entire sound bite with out continuous pressure on the FSR’s; I compensated by recording all the clips to play randomly in a loop.  These changes altered the sound intent of the installation, where as the visitor’s activation of the clip went from a significant to minor role.

131B Looping Sound Clip

131B Sound Code

This is the processing code that was set up on my computer.  After many tries, it would read.  Eventually an older computer and extensive modification of the code was used.

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131B Physical Sculptural Space

Challenges I faced with the digital components of the installation did, at times, lead to the alteration of the physical intent and content of the piece.   The wires taped to the floor limited my ability to successfully adhere the mylar to the floor, thus the mylar was lifted and bubbled up; but, as a plus, the FSR’s could not be clearly identified on the floor (which was an original intent). I eventually identified the FSR’s with circles on the floor, this seemed to supportive with the sound loops.

Blue LED light were used to illuminate the space.  The projector added an intrusive light into the space,  I decided to used tape to block the bright parts of the projector. I also reduced the blue LED light to one.  The forms in the space became too defined with too much light.

Images of Sculptural Process

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131B Active Installation

I opened 131B on December 4th and ran through December 8th.   There were many aspects of the piece that I thought were fully and under represented.

131B Content and Intent

Over time the installation transformed as a variety of materials and use of new media moved in and out of the space .  Initially I wanted to represent my experience being hospitalized over many years.  In the initial planning the physical components were  literal and clear. I did retain the content of the work until the end.  Toward the end, the work became increasingly abstracted and undefined.  One example is the foam on the walls; the foam was what I slept on in the hospital, but it became torn and reshaped in the space.  I added hallucinations (tactile strings, voices) I experience because of my illness.  I would also wanted recreate an experience of escape the environment I was forced to be in.  It was a traumatic experience that was also strangely comforting– it could be a safe and unsafe place.

I eventually made the decision to avoid explaining, talking, or literally my experience in 131B.  I am pleased I “came out” with my illness in previous works. It was too personal and raw.   For my future work I want to consider the challenge  communicating my experiences and creating content without telling a story.

131B Video Documentation

Exploring Possibilities

DOORS, between reality and virtuality from THÉORIZ on Vimeo.

 Codes for motion



ART 298 Reactions Concept

I will use my first sketch from Transition and Abstraction to expand to the Reactions. Continuing on the theme of feminine stereotyping within our perceptions of our culture. I will use buttons as the sensor/input device that will activate two choices.  One having leanings toward feminine stereotype and the other leaning toward masculine stereotypes and objects that represent both.

Integrated into the piece will be an audio track that speaks words that also follow this theme.  The participant will push a button relating to the visual queue that they relate to the most.   As they continue to push the buttons the visual and auditory progression of the piece starts to become blurred and dissolves into an abstract forms.

Looping will be an integral part of the audio component, a repeating of words and thoughts correlated to the visual prompts.  The entire piece will also loop.  After the participant pushes buttons for the entirety of the piece. It will start over in a never ending loop as a representation of the choices we are presented with when our views and perceptions are limited by the limitations that are put on us or are self imposed in regards to our views on what it means to be masculine and what it means to be feminine.

Since I have limited experience with After Effects I would like to try this software for this piece.  If I find it may not be a good match I will most likely resort to using Maya which I am more familiar with.  I would also like to integrate a sculptural element based on the theme of the piece.  As I become more familiar with the I/O Board and it’s potential I will be make a decision about the sculptural element, it will not deviate from the theme of the piece.

ART 298 Independently-Initiated Project Proposal 

There are several components I would like to integrate into my independent project including; robotics, augmented reality and virtual reality.

Although these three components potentially seem to exists separate realms, I want to consider the challenge of integrating these into a cohesive project.

My inspiration comes from several sources.  During a recent visit to New Mexico I had the pleasure of experiencing The House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe.   This collaborative effort successfully established a massive installation piece that fully integrated interactive components and the viewer becoming an integral part of the piece.

Meow Wolf

Another influence is was Wonder Spaces in San Diego as they presented 3 versions of virtual reality.  It was a temporary pop up art show.  My experience with virtual reality in the form of traveling through an art piece was the most impactful experience and left me feeling inspired to do the same.

My project would entail integrating virtual reality and augmented reality into a sculpted room.   The participant would have opportunities to expand their perceptions of the piece through augmentation and participating in a virtual world.   The room would be set up to be altered by those who participate, this could be in physical or robotic form.

The virtual reality would be a recreation of the room, but through the use of animation the viewer would be taken into a guided tour that moves beyond the physical space, with in that space they could collect clues to find the augmentation within the physical room in which the augmentation could be activated.  The content would be based on a personal theme that is still in process of of being clearly defined.

The space would be open for at least two weeks and full video/photo documentation would be an part of the work.  The space would be supervised to help those with technical issues.  This is an audience participation piece through the alterations it is most likely the physical space will be altered beyond it’s intent.

Art 298 Sketch 1: Transition and Abstraction

The subject matter I would like to incorporate is feminine stereotyping.  From the perspective of an female being pushed toward an accepted cultural direction yet not identifying with that direction and seeing it as a theatrical role that needs to be played on occasion to appease cultural norms.

The works will address the blurred lines between these social roles and personal identity.  I will represent the accepted cultural norm of feminine through objects that are symbolic and understood.  The transitions will morph between personal and cultural perspectives. The first object will be high heels.  The second object would be lips with lip stick and the third object would be a princess dress.  All the objects would be drawn .

Each form would start out as a clear and understood object. A sound track would be created; it would consist of various people speaking three brief word clips about their experiences with feminine stereotypes.  The objects would shift from clear and easily defined to distorted and unclear with the trigger of the words used.

The piece would be designed to evolve into increased distortion as random words stated in the sound clips are animated and drift into the event.  When the words touch one of the objects, the objects becomes more distorted then disappears. New random words will words will move in.

With viewer can alter the animation by clicking on the object. The objects will then randomly change to a new color, thus changing the color patterns and distortions for the entire piece.

This piece would not loop but just continue to expand upon the distortion, the words would stay the same and continue to drift and activate further distortion when hitting pieces of the previous objects.[audio