contracted art works

le grand bleu du nord

In october 2015 the opening of ‘Le Grand Blue du Nord’, by artist Jonathan Villeneuve (Montreal, CA), took place in Quebec City, Canada. The piece has been installed in the new hockey stadium of Quebec City.
This permanent public art piece is a stunning 11 x 33 meter monochrome LED screen, displaying abstract renderings of winter landscapes using only 5120 pixels.

For this project we designed the system architecture, developed the necessary electronics (CSA approved) and managed the production of the entire electronics system.


More info soon!

In this project we collaborated with:
Generique design — industrial design
Simbits — DVi/DMX conversion

galvanic vestibular stimulation

“Galvanic vestibular stimulation is the process of sending specific electric messages to a nerve in the ear that maintains balance. Not much is known about this phenomenon, but more scientists are continuing to research the topic…”

Luis Rodil-Fernández used the GVS technique in his graduation project BRAID.

BRAID is composed of two devices that can produce GVS stimulation on the wearer. The devices are networked wirelessly using an XBee module and they gather positional data from the wearer’s spine via an accelerometer positioned on top of their heads. When one of the wearers leans out of balance, her device detects this and sends a proportional stimulus to the wearer of the paired device, so it is the other person that feels it.


Schrikdraad participated in this project by first designing a custom Arduino shield. This shield contains the analog electronics necessary for the galvanic vestibular stimulation. The initial purpose of this shield was to release it as a DIY kit for people to build themselves during workshops. The PCB is equipped with through hole components, which makes the soldering easy during hands-on workshops.

As a follow up, Schrikdraad designed a single board GVS unit. The single board solution is intended to be embedded in (or part of) a garment or piece of jewelery. This new design still contains an Arduino, but it is now embedded in the analog circuitry, instead of being part of a board sandwich.

More information regarding this project can be found here.

labyrinth psychotica

“The LED hallucination poles that are placed within the crevices of THE LABYRINTH simulate what it is like to see something in the air ‘that is there but not there’. Embedded into the structure a line of LED lights are fired at a particular frequency in such a way that your eyes build a HD image in the air. In a sense hacking your brain. A person who moves sees it, a person who stands still does not.”

These custom designed electronics control a single strip of 120 RGB LEDs at high speed to ‘display’ an image. The length of the strip is 60cm.
Up to five images (120 x 192 pixels) can be uploaded and stored in local flash memory of one strip.
The LED strip is connected to a Beagle Board, which is linked to a network. This enables easy upload of images and control from any computer that is connected with this network.
There is a total of 6 LEDstrips with according Beagle Boards on the network for this installation.

A strip of LEDs, is a cascade of 4 PCB’s, where each PCB has a LED controller with 30 RGB channels, driving in total 90 PWM channels with a 97kHz carrier. The speed at which the LEDs can change color is about 3000 times per second. This means a full image can be displayed in about 65ms.
The color resolution is 24bit RGB.

The entire project, by Room for Thoughts, can be found here: Labyrinth Psychotica

This design is a follow up of an earlier release called Virtual Flag

ruis (noise)

Ruis is the follow up of the project round and round.
For this installation, we converted outdoor advertisement boxes in low resolution screens (12×16 pixels).

The advertisement boxes are located under the overpass A9 at Amstelveen (NL). This spot is also known as the Keizer Karel Gallery.

The boxes display “the game of life” in grayscale. Periodically all 12 screens synchronize and all display a same image.

The LED driver hardware, used in round and round, is re-used for this installation.
We designed a new controller PCB with radio link for all 12 boxes to replace the Linux host computer. Each controller board controls one advertisement box and synchronizes with the others.

The installation was exhibited from december 2011 – july 2012.




hardware development: Schrikdraad
software development: Simbits
screen design and production: Schrikdraad & YBCOZ