Janet Hansen artist

Spherical Houseplant

Sphere covered with foam hemispheres, white mesh overlay, and rope
Mounted on rope-covered stalk in a plastic plant pot
60 RGB LED pixels, individually addressable
Custom control hardware and software
10" x 10" x 22" tall


This piece explores a 3D arrangement of the same foam hemispheres that the artist has used in Dark Hexagon, Dark Bubbles, and Light Bubbles.

It is intended to mimic a potted plant or small tree, with a vertical trunk topped by a sphere, which is then covered by smaller foam hemispheres. The outer surface is covered with a few types of mesh materials, and the boundaries are filled in with a few types of rope, following a somewhat irregular pattern to suggest that it is a growing organic material.

The light from each pixel illuminates a single piece of foam, so that light does not mix between neighboring pixels. It is illuminated with animation patterns that use mostly red, orange, and green, so that the individual regions sometimes resemble fruits with differing degrees of ripeness. Changes in brightness also contribute to a throbbing illusion, where the individual bumps appear to be growing and shrinking.

When it is first turned on, it cycles through a series of pre-defined effects. It can also be set to play a single pattern continously, using a built-in manual mode switch.  It plugs into a standard wall outlet, and has an inline power switch built into the cord.