Travel light

(2020) Internet-of-things installation
A blue LED is hooked up to a battery together with a small piece of hardware, which connects it to the internet.

By itself, isolated from the rest of the world, the light has nowhere to go. It will shine from where it is, confined, for as long as is has sufficient power.

A second, identical LED unit appears and powers up. As it connects itself to the internet as well, both units team up. They now know about each other and the light has a second place it can go to.

Then a third unit powers up, and a fourth one, and an infinite number of units may join.

This one light, which will not die out and can never be at two places at the same time, is free to travel around — or to be travelled around.

There is no central brain, no one master control, not one single entity in charge: all connected members know when units come or leave, they constantly decide among themselves who will be next to light up and for how long.

Resembling some non-hierarchical colonial life form, these units communicate, deliberate, consider and negotiate life among themselves.

This works with lights on larger scales as well, with lighthouses, street lights, or rooms at (a) large office building(s) for instance. Because all units are connected to the internet they can be far apart, spread around the globe.

Written by Raven

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