Syyn Labs DNA Sequencer at Santa Monica GLOW Festival
Syyn Labs had the pleasure of installing a new piece at the Santa Monica GLOW Festival this past Saturday – a beautiful, 100-foot-long double helix of colorful, synced lights.
There was over a man-year (more than 2000 combined hours) put into this project which used sophisticated custom software designed by our own David Guttman to control 512 computer controlled full-color LED’s, 32 LED controllers, 4 Arduinos, and 4 computers, with over 6000 wire interconnects and well over a mile of wire. This complex hardware configuration was masterminded by Chris Nelson and Eliot Phillips, based on a challenging design concept from the talented Eric Gradman who also developed a good portion of the support structure and final assembly.
Once operational, it took inputs from the music for beat-matching and/or VU metering, a wireless iPad, and our beautiful 22-button console (also built by Gradman) – sometimes all at once! At the end of the night, our spectacular DJ Matt Davis had not only moved the crowd with his awesome music, but the twin-computer-based system be designed had processed and sent 53,477 beats to our tempo-synced light sculpture between 7:30 and 2am, when the excited crowd got a little “too excited”, and we were asked to leave the music off until we shut down on schedule an hour later.
We’re REALLY proud of how well received it was. Our favorite part? When our DJ would occasionally let a song end in silence, and it would be met with thunderous applause and cheers from the crowd surrounding the piece – sometimes as many as 7 people deep on both sides!
We’re planning to release a high-quality video, including a time-lapse of the build and operations. Until then, enjoy some of the videos that others took and posted online – mostly from the dramatic lengthwise view. A few of our favorites are here, here, and here.
Project leads Gradman, Guttman, Nelson and Phillips were supported by a herculean effort by Syyn Labs team members Dan Busby, Doug Campbell, Geoff Emery, Hector Alvarez, “Quin” Cabalquinto, Mat Heitel, Pehr Hovey and Richard Whitney and Sam Leventer, who put in many crazy late nights on this project. A very special thanks to Jennifer Jordan, Sena Koleva, Paul Grasshoff, and Kristy Hilands who pitched in at critical junctures. This really was a team effort.