dAFTdATA’s Chris Crockford—always up for an idiosyncratic project—supplied 8 square meters of Artistic Licence Pixi-Web for the Royal Institution of Great Britain’s 2007 Christmas lectures.
Crockford was approached by Dr. Hugh Montgomery, diver, skydiver, high-altitude mountaineer, intensive care doctor, genetics researcher, director of the UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance, and presenter of the 2007 Christmas Lectures.
The renowned lectures have taken place annually since 1825, and are designed to introduce science to children to further their appreciation of the subject.
Entitled “Back from the Brink” Montgomery’s 2007 lectures dealt with human survival. He needed a visual means to represent the amount of power consumed by the body’s organs in normal operation and came to Crockford to provide an innovative solution. He suggested the Pixi-Web as a portable, transparent modular screen for displaying complex lighting effects or live video images.
The Pixi-Web was rigged on a catenary wire in front of the stage set, so it could be swept on and off accordingly.
Crockford then converted the “power” of the body organs Montgomery was speaking about into LEDs, and programmed the Pixi-Web to visually represent the correct amount for each organ.
Artistic Licence supplied a dongle for their Colour-Tramp product, allowing Crockford to map exactly the correct number of pixels of the Pixi-Web to the specific organs, and subsequently animate them, illustrating their power consumption. Each organ was also appropriately identified by a unique color.
Crockford comments, “It created a massive ‘wow’ factor when the audience realized they could visualize how much power their entire bodies were drawing, especially as they could compare and contrast each organ within the body. Using this unusual and novel application of today’s lighting technology in the very building where Michael Faraday started the Christmas Lectures was a great honor.”
The lecture was broadcast on Channel 5 on Christmas Day.