The video shows a set of materials for light experimentation: A simple screen made with an embroidery hoop and a self-made moving LED light source. I wanted to create a set-up that can work on a table or be mounted on a wall, something that can be changed to produce different light patterns. In this instance, the light is moving through a translucent tube, photos below show the same light source inside a mirrored prism and other tunnels.
I got interested in the beautiful effect of a point light source moving through a mirrored tunnel when I worked on kaleidoscopes with artist John Edmark. In the last couple of months, I made this equipment for my own experiments and I would like to try it with our visitors on the museum floor. I think at first I was excited about using this with a Mylar tube (left) , but recently I like to use mirrors and translucent materials.
Once I had started with the embroidery ring as a screen I decided to make everything out of wood. The linkage I used to move the light back and forth worked pretty much right away. It was harder than I thought to find a good light source and that led to inventing one specially for our needs.
We use a LED star with a simple circuit board. It is much brighter than a Mac light, stays at the same brightness for a couple of hours on battery power and can also be plugged in using a 4.5V power supply. On top of being bright, the LED star stays cold and is small enough to fit nicely into the light tunnels I use.
While playing with my new equipment, I noticed that some of the most stunning effects originate from bringing the light source really close to a reflective or translucent material, the light projection can work like a magnifying glass and show the detailed structure of the material projected on a surface.