A beautiful and haunting art installation just went up in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park. Created by Jim Campbell, an M.I.T. grad who majored in electrical engineering and mathematics, the installation consists of 1,600 sawed off lightbulbs whose coils have been replaced with energy efficient LEDS. The engineer-turned-artist designed the electronics so that the LEDs receive information from a control panel. The panel takes footage of busy people rushing through Grand Central Station and orchestrates the lights so that they create moving, shadowy figures. Up close or if paused, you can’t quite understand what you’re looking at. But take a step back and watch it for more than just a second and you’ll start to see something magical taking shape.
Called Scattered Light, the installation is quite large at 50-feet-wide, 16-feet-high and 16-feet-deep. Campbell likes referring to his stringing lights as pixels saying that the pixels create an image that “has been kind of blown apart.”
Watch a great video about it on Switched. Scattered Light is one of three total installations Campbell currently has on view in Madison Square Park. (The other two installations are called Broken Window and Voices in the Subway Station.) These will all be up until February.
For more information, check out Madison Square Park Conservancy.