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John Flear’s Fireflies

flear from biteditions

By David Ponce

Anything that combines LEDs, economics, complex simulations of social patterns and art is cool by us. The Fireflies by John Flear is a funky, “retro-futuristic” piece of wall art that was inspired by the work of Economics Nobel prize laureate Thomas Schelling. Each square inch of the 14 by 12 inch installation contains one LED.

The patterns created by these LEDs symbolize digital fireflies that move around their environment to find the ideal temperature for their existence. If it’s too hot they move away from the other fireflies. If it’s too cold they hang out together. This abstraction reflects the way we humans also lead our lives. We move around pulled by emotional forces in various directions.

John’s work explores the emergence of complex collective patterns from simple individual behavior. The Fireflies piece creates an organic and relaxing ambiance, hardly what would be expected from an economic model.

The piece is $770 at BitEditions, though it seems to be on special right now for $350. And if you’re wondering just what this stuff looks like, we’ve included a video after the jump.

[John Flear’s Fireflies]







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  • http://www.wreckingball.org/art steven

    for the love of christ, would people stop ripping off poor jim campbell, already?

  • Pascal

    o_o…. thats called Conway’s Game of Life. The life simulation where humans are represented as dots, and if too many get crowded, they die, and if there is no one around, they die. I forget the details, but just google “Conway’s Game of Life”, and you’ll find a java version of it.