IED or a LED

February 2nd, 2007 new media,news,parsons,technology 1 comment

Look what I stole
Well I guess I need to tell the full story since everyone is asking. I was out in South Boston with my friend Ryan. We went to ironically a Graffiti art show that night. After the show we left and were walking around looking for a bar. We walked down the stairs of a bridge near Lucky’s Lounge. When we got under the bridge at street level we looked up and saw the glowing LED Adult Swim Ad. Right off the bat we thought that it was LED Throwies developed by the Graffiti Research Lab. I had to go up there and take a look.

I am currently enrolled at Parsons School of Design in NYC. I took a class called Geek Graffiti a couple of semester ago. In this class we worked in conjunction with the GRL to create technologies for urban communication. I was very familiar with the technology and LED art, so I had an idea what this was. By no means was I scared or thought was a bomb.
Adult Swim Ad
A couple of people outside the bar saw me climb the bridge and grab the LED Ad. People around said that they liked the Ad. “It has been up for a couple of weeks, its nice. It turns on at night.” They even mentioned some artist that they thought it was. By no means were these people scared or threatened by the LED Ad.

The Ad was far out on the bridge so I had a hard time getting to it. It was attached with magnets and hard to get off. I told Ryan to catch it but he missed and it broke. We brought it back to his place and started to dissecting it, I wanted to see how the circuit worked. After some testing I found out the construction of it.

Close LED

The LEDS are attached to a circuit that takes an average level of the light using a photo resistor. Based on the level of light the LEDs will fade on or off. It is powered by 4 D batteries. The Ad life is about 2 – 3 weeks.
Light Circuit
Ryan and I documenting the constriction of the piece and posted it to Make Blog and Flickr. This was about two weeks ago. The response was good. A little after this the creator contacted me and said:

“I am glad you got one of the adult swim signs, there are other’s out there as well so keep looking up. We were hoping that people would take them.” After this the story was over, well until the other day in Boston.
Adult Swim Ad on bridge
After speaking to many reporters I have to say the whole situation is getting out of hand. I respect the police and authorities for acting on the bomb scare. The bomb squad needed to sit back and realize what the Ad was. The word terrorist or bomb should never have been released to the public unless they were certain.

Take a look at this photo and this photo, The bomb squad should have been able to figure this out, before it got out of hand.

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