Water Light Graffiti Exhibit Lets People "Paint" with LEDs and Water
French digital artist Antonin Fourneau has built an interactive art exhibit in Poitiers, France that employs 22,000 LED lights as the canvas and water as the paint. The unique installation lets the public be the artists by using spray bottles, sponges, buckets or even their bare hands to create graffiti on the light wall.
The project encourages people to be active participants in art and technology. Especially for kids, this type of art project can be a great way to get them thinking about how technologies work; even better that it uses clean technology.
Fourneau explained the origins of the project to My Modern Met:
I used water in several of my projects already. During an experimental workshop with visitors in 2011 @ Centre Pompidou, I used moisture and a sponge to make a human game controller. (See a video here.) For an exhibition in 2009, I've used LED to make a jaw prosthesis reactive with saliva.
I had in mind to make a project with a lot of LEDs and a simple principle. I always had the work of people like Ingo Maurer and Moriitz Waldemeyer in mind. One of my favorite hobbies is to try to make interactive installations with a simple and effective concept. The trick of using water as a light switch matched these expectations perfectly.
The idea grew during a workshop in March 2012 at the CAFA Design School in Beijing. I proposed a subject around "natural interactive devices." I've managed several prototypes with students and around the water. One evening I was in my hotel room preparing for the next day's classes with some electronic components and a spray bottle of water was on the table.
The installation, which was a collaboration with Digitalarti, a French team dedicated to promoting digital art, took three months to set up and Fourneau is still tweaking it to improve the effect. He hopes it will be a part of the city for a long time.
His next goal is to develop a material that could be installed on architecture so that a graffiti wall could be part of a building or other structure.
Check out the video of the installation below.