Hexaural Pendant

This new version of my  sound reactive pendant has a much more beautiful case design and richer colors while maintaining an impressive 4,000 frames per second. It has an adjustable sensitivity so it looks great reacting to sound from your phone or while you’re hugging a giant speaker at a concert. It also has a slow calming mode that cycles through the colors and looks great even when there’s no music playing.

Voronoi Hyperboloid Sculpture

This 3d printed sculpture casts beautiful shadows when lit from the inside with leds.


The sculpture reacts in real time to music in the following videos:

Hyperboloid Sculpture – Altitude from Tim Gerrits on Vimeo.


Hyperboloid Sculpture – San Solomon from Tim Gerrits on Vimeo.


The next video is at normal speed, 30 fps. The one below it is displayed in slow motion, 240 fps, so you can see the fast, detailed response to the music. 9 seconds of the same song expands to 47 in the second video. The lights update 3,000 times per second and display in full 24bit color (16 million colors).

Hyperboloid Sculpture – Tulips – Normal Speed from Tim Gerrits on Vimeo.


Hyperboloid Sculpture – Tulips – Slo Mo from Tim Gerrits on Vimeo.

Sound Reactive Pendant

This glowing pendant reacts to sound, creating a dynamic light show. A video is below, but it can’t show all the detail. The pendant reads the audio levels and updates 3,000 times per second while the video is only at 30 fps. All this in full 24 bit color. An advantage of using LEDs instead of screens is they can update so much faster. No screen you’re looking at can convey the vividness of this light display. You must see it in person.

Sound Reactive Pendant from Doteki on Vimeo.



LED Poi draw beautiful patterns as you spin them around. Sensors in the poi change the light based on how they are moved creating a dynamic and unique performance.

Here is a close-up of the latest prototype


Firefly Automata

Firefly Automata


Electronic firefly automata self-organize into synchronized flashing swarm

Certain species of fireflies will synchronize their flashing in the wild. They do this by watching their neighbors and changing their own pattern to converge on what they see. This is an incredible effect to see in nature especially since there is no leader, they self-organize. They flock in time like birds and fish do in space.

This project aims to recreate this emergent behavior with a group of electronic fireflies. Each one is small enough to be pinned to a shirt like a brooch or a badge. It pulses its pattern on a green LED, broadcasts its timing on an IR LED, listens for others with an IR sensor and converges toward them. A small swarm will synchronize up in a minute or two as they come within visual range of each other, about 10m.

Now imagine dozens of these, worn by visitors as they move around a space, constantly converging on each other, being stirred up by new visitors as they approach each other. They work outdoors or indoors, in light or dark, but are obviously more dramatic in the dark.

The brains of the project is an Arduino micro controller, and the code will be open-source as well as the hardware. I will make the circuit board and cad files for the case available as well.

A swarm of synchronizing fireflies is cool enough on its own, but adding an RGB LED has made subsequent versions of this project into a more general purpose art platform. Color cycles through the rainbow can be synchronized rather than just flashes. They can be programmed to follow each other rather than match each other. They can broadcast their color along with their timing so that colors seem to pass around between them or converge on each other. All behaving independently as cellular automata, creating an emergent behavior as a group.

Musical Stream

Activating the lights and sounds through the water

In this project, for the 2012 Festival of Creativity at the Mesa Arts Center we modified an existing water sculpture to become interactive. Interacting with the sculpture, it would light up, play music, and control a huge mapped projection in front of you. We collaborated with many local artists to complete this ambitious project. Doteki, my design firm, focused on the sensors, lighting, control, and communication systems for this beautiful and fun installation.


Permanent water table sculpture before we made it interactive

Here you can see someone interacting with the installation with their hands, turning the water into a musical instrument. In addition to using your hands, the installation could also detect specially designed objects that would float in the stream, triggering different sounds and lighting effects. Unique localized object detection through 5 inches of water, glass, and colored marbles was quite a challenge, but it was well worth it to see so many people play with a sculpture they would normally enjoy from a distance.


At Doteki we are passionate about enhancing great art to make it interactive, dynamic, and more engaging to the public.


View of the installation from below

This installation held up wonderfully under heavy use for the entire 10 day festival. At night it was beautiful from above, but during the day it quite beautiful from below as you can see in this rare view showing the sun peeking through the sensors and electronics.


Below you can see some short videos of the installation in use during the festival.


The installation in action


The installation from the user’s point of view, including the mapped projection

Interactive Cacti

Agave made of pool noodles that lights up in reaction to touch

We collaborated with local artists and engineers to make an interactive cactus grove for the 2012 Festival of Creativity at the Mesa Arts Center. This cactus is an agave that reacts to touch, lighting up in different patterns when its fronds (made of pool noodles) are handled. One of the themes of the display was rethinking the way we interact with the cacti around us. Unlike real cacti, these installations welcome tactile attention, and reward the explorer with a beautiful light show under their control.


Tim programming a new pattern to the sculpture

The lighting programs were programmable and we changed them throughout the festival and beyond. You can see (and play with) this sculpture at its temporary home at HeatSync Labs in Mesa, AZ.

We custom designed and built the sensors, circuit boards, and lighting for this sculpture to withstand the Arizona heat and tackling by children. Contact us if you want to visit this sculpture or if you would like something similar for your location or event.


Arizona ArtBeat broadcast a special on PBS about the Mesa Arts Center’s Festival of Creativity on 5/24/12. The video is available here and our cactus grove installation is highlighted at about 3:30 in. It shows some behind the scenes footage of the construction process of this and some of the other cacti.


Flowering Cactus

Light-up Flowering Cactus

This installation allowed and encouraged visitors to reconfigure the light up flowers on the Prickly Pear like cactus. It was one our collaborative pieces at the 2012 Festival of Creativity at the Mesa Arts Center. The lights were wirelessly powered and magnetically attached, so they could be easily moved from frond to frond, slowly dimming as they were pulled from the fronds and relighting as they got closer to another frond. We provided many colors for the visitors to experiment with, who were astonished to discover there were no wires attaching them or batteries powering them.

We custom designed the circuit boards and antennae for this installation and are currently working on other wireless power applications for interactive art and games. Contact me if you are looking for a similar installation, or are interested in how we built this one.


The flowering cactus in action


Close-up view of one of the flowers