Liquid Forest Art Installation



2019 Liquid Forest: The Source
2019 Liquid Forest: The Source

Scheduled for installation at Burning Man 2023, these distinctive art sculptures by prolific artist Richard Wilks merge environmental consciousness with innovative design. Resembling a fusion of jellyfish and trees, each piece is carefully crafted from hand-recycled plastic and metal, embodying a commitment to sustainability. A strobing zoetrope element springs to life when the sculptures are spun, adding an interactive element to their visual appeal and deeper character.

30 LED strips of 300 pixels each, creating a unique visual display, are driven by four LitBit boards in each 'jelly', which are controlled by the LitPi system, via sACN lighting protocol.

This marks the inaugural application of the full LitPi system including a basic Flutter web app for control, and a variety of microservices for file playback, serial, UDP, and REST communication. ZMQ is used for inter-service communication, and a lot of the python services are written to be asynchronous for best performance in a small package. All micro services are containerized for Docker, and the entire system can be easily deployed and updated via an Ansible playbook.

One of the neatest features of the system is the nodes are able spin up or join a set WiFi Access Point, and are able to find other LitPi nodes on the network. This allows for the web app from any of the nodes to list all nodes present, and control their settings.

My part in the project is just the hardware, firmware, and software pertaining to the sculptures.