Inanimata

City lights come alive to tell stories via morse code

Night falls and lights across the city come to life. Some turn on immediately, some blink – on, off, on, off, and on again. What first appears to be a flicker is, at a second glance, less random. Street lights, lamps, headlights, lanterns—silent witnesses to the goings on around them—now broadcast what they have seen, through Morse code.

The curious were invited to seek out these blinking automata on the streets of Sydney, slow down and tune in to stories silently received and translated by the iPhone/iPod Touch app, ‘Light Conversation’, available for free download in the iTunes App Store.

The app also enabled to sending of messages via the flash so that people were able to use it to send messages to each other. Information on how to hack your own lights to speak morse code is available here. This project has had an unexpected life beyond this artwork with people all around the world using it for their own projects.

Special thanks to:

Lucy Parakhina for documentation,

Tobio for music in video,

and Matt Ward for use of Drunk on the Moon (and his bedroom windows).


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