Martin Sims of Blue Cow designed and built the
"Tricknology" for acclaimed artist Kathryn Smith's "In Camera"
exhibition. Kathryn wanted to create "a controlled, immersive
environment" in the gallery. This environment is the home to a unique
set of drawings that are sensitive to ultra-violet light.
Martin designed a computer based automation system and interfacing hardware to control lighting and sound in the gallery space to realise Kathryn's vision. The
system switched nearly 70 lights through a sequence of nearly
3000 UV, black out and white light states through the three week
duration of the exhibition. The system was designed to "set
and forget" - automatically resume after the (expected) power
failures and requiring no user action to operate.
The experience of the gallery space transitioning from white to UV was incredible. Until white light the drawings on the walls were just blank paper. The switch to UV places the viewer in a new world surrounded by ghostly images. The transitions happened at second accurate times to a schedule determined by the real-world incidents of violent crime in South Africa.