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home > Electronic Artwork > "Twinkle Twinkle"

Guy Marsden

"Twinkle Twinkle"
completed August 1994
11" X 11" X 2.5"
SOLD 9/2008

This was an exercise in complexity for me.  There are 256 neon lamps mounted in a 16 X 16 array on a circuit board that I designed.  The circuitry causes groups of about 8 lamps to flash in widely dispersed groups about 2 times per second.

Close up showing the hundreds of beige capacitors and
(barely visible) resistors and diodes that comprise this simple,
yet complex design.


Each lamp is surrounded by a circuit called a "neon relaxation oscillator".  The circuit consists of a diode, resistor, capacitors and the lamp itself.  The components are connected to 120VAC in such a way that the capacitors build up an DC electrical charge over time to a level that causes an arc across the electrodes inside the neon lamp that is seen as a brief flash of orange light.  The capacitors are wired in a network so that the discharge of one lamp depletes the stored power in it's region.

See movies of this artwork:
TwinkleTwinkleFULL.MOV  (1.8MB)TwinkleTwinkleCU.MOV (1.7MB)
1.8MB                                                1.7MB


11/94 - 6/95 Holmes Fine Art, San Jose, CA
2/97 - 3/97 “Organic Inter-reactions Of A Perfect Order”
RTKL International Exhibit Gallery, Los Angeles
3/20/03 - 7/6/03 "info@blah: Overload and Organization"
The Mills Gallery of the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA.
1/7/05 - 2/25/05 "Light in the Dark"
SPACE Gallery, Portland, Maine

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