Home Chapter 9 Artist's applications of solid state + Electromagnetic relays

Site Search


Chinese (Simplified) French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish
Artist's applications of solid state + Electromagnetic relays
"Blogged" by Bill Shackelford uses a web interface in an interactive installation creating a one-day, net-event concerned with the concept of being 'blogged'. The more hits that the site gets the more the big red balloon inflates.

Blogged by Bill Shackelford .2007.

Blogged counts a visit for each unique IP address and URL referral combination to his web page. The visits are logged into Bill Shackelfords MYSQL database and this determines the length of time the air compressor is activated. If there are 20 visits to the website then this activates the compressor for 20 seconds.

Blogged by Bill Shackelford .2007.

The microcontroller was interfaced with a Netburner network adapter receives the running time from the database and this switches the air compressor on using a solid state relay to fill the red balloon.

This work creates a cathartic visual metaphor for being noticed on the WWW and relates a big red balloon to the notion of ego swelling with this attention. The work is a clever use of multiple platforms to realize a conceptually driven work of art that has a local performative element and a distant activation element, as visitors to the site were able to watch the balloon inflate with a web cam focused on the balloon.

The artists Cesar Martinez has created a series of works that use solid state relays and computer timers to turn the works on and off to switch the AC blowers. In the process Martinez creates poetic works which allude to human love, friendship and competition.



Lo otro en si mismo (The other in itself ) by Cesar Martinez, 2002.

Me quieres o no me quieres, (You want to me or you do not want to me)by Cesar Martinez, 2002.


Me quieres o no me quieres, (You want to me or you do not want to me)by Cesar Martinez, 2002.


The works are constructed of latex rubber with hot air blowers to inflate the works over time. Martinez uses the human figure in various positions to get at powerful emotions and as the figures inflate and deflate they seem to capture and convey emotion.

The artist Carl Bailey has created a techno-rhythmic sculpture called Patterned Behavior (2003), which looks for peoples’ body heat with three PIR sensors that trigger low-frequency percussive themes juxtaposed with different sound accents, meters, and varying tempos.


Patterned Behavior by Carl Bailey (2003) Photo by Amy Youngs.


The amplified sounds are high and shrill at times and more melodic and rhythmic at other times. AC bulbs that flash on and off in patterned, rhythmic, and contrapuntal relation to the sound created accompany these sounds.

Carl Bailey used multiple SSRs to turn nine AC lamps on and off in relation to his custom programming. Carl also used a rewired dumpster-dive stereo amp, which amplified the signal coming directly from the output of the BASIC Stamp 2. The Pbasic code used was a pulseout, which allowed the artist to create a complex sound work. The Plexiglas box, which housed and exposed the wiring, also allowed shadows cast by the lights to project the tangle of wires onto the walls of the installation, and in this process created complex visuals to complement the abstract musical elements.

Bailey’s work also employed the same PIR sensors that are part of this lesson. He used three PIRs to allow different preprogrammed sequences to come forth based on the chance interaction of the viewer/listener with the sculpture.