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home > Art Projects > Milton Komisar

Guy Marsden

Artwork Engineering

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Milton Komisar's first light sculpture
using ultra high brightness LED illumination.

Milton's light sculptures are performances in light, color and movement that last
up to 20 minutes.  The images above are sampled from his first work made
using this new illumination source.

In programming his work, Milton is able to control all aspects of color and movement using software that gives him control of 100 brightness levels for each of the primary colors (red, green and blue).  He can then mix the interactions of these colors over time using boolean logic to layer color and animated positional interactions.
Each of the 1 1/2" diameter acrylic rods in his artwork are illuminated at each end by an LED module that I designed for him.  These modules have 4 LEDs a piece in each of the primary colors.  The combined luminous intensity of a module is 12000 Mcd or 12 candle power.  This represents the current state of the art in LED brightness available for all 3 colors.

Milton constructs his artwork by heat forming the 1 1/2" diameter solid acrylic
rods, then he sands the surface so that it catches the light from the modules.

Milton then wires these modules into his artwork, and conceals them within the connectors that hold the rods together.
The modules are controlled from a driver card that I designed that switches 12 Volt power to each of the colors.  Each card controls up to 10 modules, and 3 driver cards can be combined to control up to 32 modules.
While he is programming the artwork, these driver cards receive signals from Milton's computer via umbilical cables connected to interface card(s) in his computer.  I originally designed these cards to control his earlier artworks that were illuminated using larger colored lamps.

Once programming is complete, the program that controls the lights is transferred to EEPROM memory chips on a separate control board that allows the artwork to operate independently of the computer.


These circuit boards, along with a small 12 Volt power supply are concealed within the base of the artwork.  Milton's color orchestrations repeat every 20 minutes with a brief blackout period to separate each repetition.

Milton died from Parkinson's disease in 2018. 
His legacy lives on in his art in several collections and
public art installations.

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