Whether you call them “blinkies”, “throwies”, “sparklers”, or anything else, LED art is an interesting nexus of street art and hacker culture.
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Events such as DEFCON even have exhibitions for the most creative blinky designs while maker storefronts sell them in every conceivable shape. In this video, Matt collaborates with his friends at the National Upcycled Computing Collective to build a solar-powered “smart” blinky that not only looks cool at night, but contributes its computing power to a worldwide network that’s looking for disease cures, extraterrestrial intelligence, rogue asteroids, and more!
During my sophomore year of high school, the Powers That Be decided to sell out the exclusive vending machine rights to PepsiCo. Now, being the budding political firebrand that I was, as well as a lifelong Coca-Cola fan (the south has always been one of the contested fronts in the Cola Wars), I took it upon myself to revolt in the face of what I considered an inappropriate public-corporate relationship. A relationship that created a monopoly within the walls of a building that the inhabitants were legally obligated to attend and had little recourse for outside alternatives.
Enter this artwork, lovingly painted in watercolor by my baby sister (who couldn’t have been but 6 or 7 at the time) in a show of solidarity with her heroic big brother, fighting the rent-seeking corporations in the waning years of the 1990s. We always have been a pair of rebels, even if we rebel in different ways.
I drew this sometime back in the mid-1990s, my interpretation of the cover art for Interplay’s Battle Chess. For some reason, I found the Queen quite…inspirational. For comparison, here is the original:
Well, the artist is granted some creative license when creating a reproduction, right?