CdF @ the institute village

Our 2017 installation consists of five Tesla coils in two groups: a pair of large interactive units with toruses, and a trio of smaller, "singing" coils.

Large Coils

The larger coils have two modes: lightning mode and interactive "sensation" mode. Lightning mode is the familiar display of arcs and sound, which are commonly seen in other installations (such as Arc Attack).

Sensation mode is a more intimate interactive experience, which connects people with a subtle or sharp tingle of electricity. By placing one hand near the coil, one active participant can reach out and pass energy to another who is farther away. The difference in electrical potential determines the type of sensation that they share. (A safe distance is maintained by physical barriers.)
This energy, in high amounts close to the coil, can also create Lichtenberg figures -- lightning-like patterns in wood.

Singing coils

The trio of smaller coils can speak and sing with startlingly clear fidelity. Audio is fed via radio from a Raspberry Pi, then driven in opposite amplitudes, and finally transformed by the primary and secondary coil windings into beautiful, visible sound. These coils also produce small, vibrant sparks, which wreathe and spin delicate wire figures.

Process files

Follow our process on GitHub: