Flashing by Numbers

flashing-by-numbers-4In the fall of 2002 I was asked by Arcada University of Applied Life and the Pro Artibus foundation to make a proposal for a work of art in the new building of Arcada, at Arabiastranden in Helsinki, Finland. My proposal was very appreciated and was one of the final two, but do to financial reasons it was not realized.

Flashing by numbers visualize the history and progress of Arcada, from late 1900-century metal engineering to high-tech it-technology engineering. The art piece is a sculpture made of light board (in yellow, 276 points/m2) and a gray painted metal box. It is shaped like a monolith, and the size is 197 x 389 x 50 cm. The sculpture will be placed in the restaurant of the school and it’s strict shape, material and color (which is the same as the window frames in the room) will integrate it and make it become one with the room and the building.

In the past when most of the people where illiterate the rulers used speeches in squares and public places as a mean to spread their information. When people started to learn to read the interface changed and notice/bill boards where introduced. Today there is internet with a standardized interface in a virtual public place, and it is finally possible to choose effectively and spread information you find important. With Flashing by Numbers you can send information from the virtual square, internet, via the sculpture, interface, to the real square, Arcada’s restaurant. You communicate via the schools internet home page, where you can write and draw simple text and figures and send them to the light board. It is not only the information send to the sculpture, that control it. The sculpture is also controlled by the amount of activity on the Arcada’s main server. High activity means that moor LED-lamps are lighted from down upwards, and the information that been send to the sculpture will be shown, negative, as dark LED-lamps. All the information send to the sculpture will be stored and shown randomly.