Daily Marauder




LED Throwie: a lithium battery, a 10mm diffused LED and a rare-earth magnet taped together.

Today James Powderly spoke to the geek-fabulous crowd at SXSW in Austin.  Powderly is an artist and technology maven who co-founded the Graffiti Research Lab in coordination with Evan Roth.  The mission of the Graffiti Research Lab is to empower artists with open source technology to allow them to communicate in urban settings to the degree that advertisers are enabled.

Powderly’s first request of the crowd at SXSW: he wanted the crowd to flick him off and took a picture from on-stage.  Talk about crowd sourcing…  This one act set the stage for the interview to follow and the Graffiti Research Lab’s body of work.

The LED Throwie above represents one of the Graffiti Research Lab’s earliest works.  The packaged lights can be thrown on surfaces creating an illuminated night-time vision.  Click here or on the image above to see video of the LED throwies in action.  For another example, click the LED Bombing image below.



The GRL’s latest technology L.A.S.E.R tag utilizes digital projection to enable graffiti artists’ a much larger canvas to create on.  The image below was created on a recent trip to Tokyo.


Here’s how it works.  A projector hooked to a computer with custom built software by Theo Watson reads the green light of the laser point via an attached camera.  Wherever that camera detects the green laser pointer, it updates the projector with a white pixel stylizing the final effect to look like dripping paint.  The software is open source allowing for other artists to build on these effects adding their own signature features.


Most amazing to me is the project they pulled off in Hong Kong.  I used to think that New York City rocked the most amazing night-time city view worldwide… until I visited Hong Kong a few years ago.


Photo Credit: remz-zero

This shot above was taken from Kowloon overlooking Hong Kong Island.  The building at the far left consisting of ascending lit triangles is the Bank of China designed by I.M. Pei.

For this remarkable project pulled off by the GRL in coordination with MC Yan, laser tag technology was used from 1,200 meters away on Hong Kong Island.  MC Yan projected an image onto the Hong Kong Cultural Museum in Kowloon.  This is the farthest distance the technology has ever successfully been used.  Click here or on the image below to check out video of the project.


Powderly describes himself as a magician teaching other artists his tricks.  Back in the day, graffiti artists would tag NYC subway trains as a way of spreading their message from the Bronx to Brooklyn.  Now, the Graffiti Research Lab allows a whole new level of trickery to engage artists ways previously unimaginable.

As a laser tag parting gift, I leave you with the GRL’s latest collaboration: the music video The Hardest from AZ (featuring Styles P & Large Professor).


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

I have connected from Hongkong to Dubai for 2 times back in 2003, one at night, I do agree Hongkong’s night is really beautiful, on a par with NYC.

and So is Dubai.

Comment by chinasourcing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: