Light & Sound Sculpture
Fireflies is a big scale sound and light sculpture that simulates the emergent behaviour of the synchronous fireflies. Throughout nature, throngs of relatively simple elements can self-organize into behaviours that seem unexpectedly complex.
The fireflies unison flashing is a mesmerising manifestation of order emerging without the instructions of a leader. Fireflies creates an astounding experience by using an algorithm to mimic this natural phenomena for the first time not only visually, but also sonically. The installation consists of more than 300 individual firefly objects, which reverberate and light up in different patterns across the space. Towards the end of synchronisation process, waves of sound and light move together and washes over the visitors: as if a higher entity emerges from the myriad of individuals.
Fireflies sonifies the emergent algorithm in an analogue way. The different materials that make up the sculptures were selected to be able to create a unique acoustic experience without any amplification or the use of speakers.
Each of the fireflies is equipped with a motor. When a single firefly lights up the motor starts to vibrate and creates the first layer of sound. To compliment the sound of the motor, the foil and paper wings and two micro shakers were added to every single element. Through picking up the movement of the motor they create a multi-layered noise-like sound which adds density to the sonic experience. The process of synchronisation is traceable acoustically across the space until it completely transforms the sound: the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
Concept, Production, Design, Programming
Hardware and Firmware Development
Mickey Van Olsen