What is it?

You can buy “color-changing” LEDs which have tiny brains embedded inside: just power them up, and they slowly course through the colors of the rainbow. But they’re not perfectly precise: one might be ever-so-slightly faster than the next.

Each “Sync/Desync R/G/B Micro” has four color-changing LEDs, set in an artist-designed circuit board and a custom 3D-printed frame (two color options included: slate grey and pine) with an acrylic diffuser. At times, it seems like the colors are coordinating, or clashing, or chasing each other around. But the lights have no way of communicating. Each just slowly changes on its own, at its own pace; the structures and sequences we perceive are artifacts created by our pattern-sensing minds.

They are boxed with everything necessary to power and wall-mount them (screws or tacks). The artwork is bright enough to be seen in typical indoor daylight illumination, and comparable to a regular nightlight in darkness.

It is a wall-mounted device. There are no power switches or settings. It powers up immediately when connected to the included power supply.

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Artist’s statement

To my mind, a lot of modern life boils down to finding patterns: matching things together, making theories that fit the data. Yes or no, us versus them. This was a useful talent for hunter-gatherers: seeing a pattern in the underbrush could mean the difference between eating or starving. But today I suspect that we detect less helpful patterns. We find signals in the noise, whether it’s there or not; Skinner’s pigeons, hopping one-footed.

Where do I get one?

“Sync/Desync Micro” and “Sync/Desync R/G/B Micro” are available through my web store.

What, where, when


Care and Feeding









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