Workshop Sensory Memory
& Persistence of Vision

January 2011


Guest: Julien Maire:

Julien Maire is a French artist who lives and works in Berlin. A visual and performing artist, his work deconstructs and re-invents the technology of audiovisual media. He renews obsolete cinematic techniques and develops alternative interfaces to produce moving images. His research confronts immobility and movement, reality and fiction, and interrogates the notion of time and memory in the film image.


Aim of the workshop:

This workshop will focus on sensory and digital memories, emphasizing on the phenomenon of persistence of vision.

The Project:

We decided to explore and develop a new device of communication without spoken language, using light and the persistence of vision or more precisely the sparkler's trail effect.

The sparkler's trail effect occurs when one waves around a lit sparkler, creating a trail of light. Although it appears that this trail is created by the light left from the sparkler as it is waved through the air, there is, in fact, no light along this trail. The lighted trail is a creation of the mind, which retains a perception of the sparkler's light for a fraction of a second in sensory memory.

Two LED persistence of vision displays have been developed:

1. One device with a row of LED's that flash out columns of a message.  When the array of LED's is moved, the message can be read as if it were many LED's wide, instead of a single row.
One will be mounted on a Frisbee and another one on an arrow.

The Frisbee: 

The electronics is using a Arduino Nano, 16 superbright CMS LEDs, 2 NiMh rechargeable batteries.

The arrow:  


 2. The other device will include a single LED mounted on the tip of an arrow. The LED will blink according to a Morse message.


The arrow electronics is using a CMS PIC controller, small coin cell batteries, and a custom made vibration sensor created with a ipiezo.  

First test by running:


"Test Vitesse linéaire Choc"
"Veuillez éteindre la lumière en sortant"
"Etudes des vents contraires"
"Lettre anonyme"

Tests with the Fresbee: