Constell-action, a light installation by Polish installation artists panGenerator, will create light waves at Melbourne’s Federation Square on 13 February, 8.30pm – but not without the aid of you and your mobile phone.

The simple but interactive installation is made up of 400 small, light-sensitive tetrahedrons which react to the sudden change of light intensity.

Shine the light from a mobile phone on one tetrahedron and it will flash, igniting nearby tetrahedrons and creating a domino effect. Patterns of light waves are built upon this rule and shaped by participants, who can move the tetrahedrons around to form shapes and light up one or many at the same time.

According to panGenerator, the team wanted to move away from the typical interactive installations driven by complex, centralised software and hardware, and strived for something that would generate intricate emergent behaviours based on simple and autonomous building blocks.

As a result, the only component of the experience is the small, vacuum formed tetrahedron. Inside it are custom made electronics driven by a ATtiny24A microcontroller which works with voltages as low as 1.8V, consumes small amounts of current, and has enough i/o pins.

Three standard photo-resistors, each pointed to a corresponding face on the tetrahedron, are used for light detection. The same number of SMD LEDs will produce the light, while a tiny buzzer will activate and make noise along with the blink of light. For power supply, two CRC2032 batteries are used.

CONSTELLACTION from ◥ panGenerator on Vimeo.

Constell-action is commissioned by Fed Square’s Creative Program, and is showing as part of Pause Fest 2014.

Event: Constell-action by panGenerator

Where: Fed Square, Melbourne

When: 13 – 21 February, 8.30pm – 11.30pm

Cost: Free