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Artistic applications of LEDs

The Artist Barbara Layne is working with development of intelligent cloth structures and explores embedding LEDs into clothing. Layne’s desire is to have this function to allow wireless transmission and remote communication systems between users/wearers.

The artist Erwin Redl creates large-scale installations of LED’s in various colors that allow you to reflect on art making in the realm of “digital experience.” Redl assembles these installations and incorporates algorithms to create a randomness that is inspired by computer code.

Redl has been investigating the notion of “reverse engineering” by using the visual languages of virtual reality and 3D modeling to create his architectural light installations. Because of the large nature of these works in an architectural space, the viewer must be present to experience the full effect through the perception of space, light, and time. [4]


MATRIX XII (rear view) by Ervin Redl , 2003 LED Installation, 120 x 50 x 30 ft (variable) Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX


Ellen Grevey is a sculptor concerned with feminist issues and empowering women with her installation works. In the work Lady Dover 2001, Ellen has decided to repurpose the traditional clothes iron, classically perceived as a “woman’s tool”. In this detailed work, she used the LED’s on the back of the RC car as indicators of activity of the robotic duster. [5]


Lady Dover by Ellen Grevey, 2001 Photo by Ellen Grevey


This humorous work and its interaction allowed a man or woman to dust the floor with the fun of a radio control car. In her own words “ I adopted the iron as a symbol of the heavy, less than pleasurable aspects of the role of “homemaker”. …They were essentially relieved of their "tool" status in favor of that of an object of beauty or entertainment. This piece, Lady Dover, is a homemaker’s helper-cum-lapdog. The device, a radio controlled iron-on-wheels, is equipped with a feather duster to clean the road ahead. Operated from a seated position, it dusts and does the ironing. It is the "perfect pet," for the modern woman, it comes with its own powder pink dog house with batteries included.”