Saturday, 19 January 2013
Make: Flatsun Simulates Burning Solar Activity
"It’s about a bilion times smaller than our actual closest star (140 cm, the artist made sure to make this exact), but Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has managed to recreate its glowing visuals in his art piece, Flatsun.
To do so, he designed and built a custom array of 60,000 red and yellow LEDs. They are controlled by a computer running eight processors, and a video camera detects the number of people in the room then alters Flatsun’s activity based on that. If the room is crowded, the toiling flames increase in intensity. If the place empties out, Flatsun calms down.
To make the visual action of Flatsun properly mimic the sun, Rafael employed the fluid dynamic algorithms Navier Stokes, fractal flames, reaction diffusion, and Perlin noise"