Jelly Swarm for Vancouver Aquarium
Inspired by luminescent jellies found off the British Columbia coast, Jelly Swarm mimics their natural, reactive light behaviour.
In the Pacific Ocean, when disturbed, Aequorea victoria release short bursts of calcium which interacts with a photoprotein to create flashes of light.
In the Pacific Canada Pavilion gallery at the Vancouver Aquarium, the public can excite origami jellies into creating beautiful patterns of colour and light using a touch screen controller.
When left alone, free from human intervention, the origami jellies instinctively react to each other. Random, generative displays of drifting coloured glow are triggered, not unlike jellies in their natural environment.
Jelly Swarm overhangs the gallery space. The soft, coloured light emitted by the jellies reflects on the aluminum surface. Viewed from below, the visual effect evokes looking up to the ocean's surface from undersea.
The installation features 94 origami jellies, folded in Tyvek. Each jelly contains its own RGB LED module. The 472ft² hanging surface was custom designed in 3D and fabricated from 6061T6 aluminum. Water jet cut and anodized on both sides, it comprises 154 generated triangles and 430 connector pieces.
Programed as self-contained objects capable of interacting with their closest neighbours, the Jelly LED modules are interrupted only by external intervention - the public engaging with the small display interface. Data is sent from an AIR app to each LED module via mbed wirelessly.
Concept: Alex Beim & Joseph Wu
Design: Reynaldo Tortoledo & Alex Beim
Jelly Design & Fabrication: Joseph Wu
Programming: Reynaldo Tortoledo & Pablo Gindel
Electronics: Pablo Gindel, Dong Yang & Mike Manning
Surface Fabrication: Burak Ataman
Engineering Consultant: Leigh Christie
Design Assist: Pam Troyer & Kenji Rodriguez
Plinth Fabrication: Ken Sullivan
Installation: TI team & Don Knudson
Electrical: Evan Maxwell
Production: Andy Meakin
Video: Neil Fisher & Kenji Rodriguez
Commissioned by Rebecca Eames
Special thanks: Mark Montgomery, Carson Ting, Justin Li, Denise Cheung, Louise Ritchie, Roxanne St-Pierre, Gord Copland, Doug Munday.
Jelly Swarm: bit.ly/vgTF5W