Visual Performance – Lichtfaktor vs Optix from Jens Heinen on Vimeo.

Our friends over at have found a beautiful example of digital graffiti. The effect of making animated swirls of color using handheld lights in motion is a familiar one, but it’s fantastic to see it start to cross over to the live arena. The project is the creation of Cologne collective Lichtfaktor and (in this video) light jugglers Optix.

Light Writing Performance & Light Spraying Project

Rolin also points to a separate project with a handheld light “spray can” with a kinetic battery powered by movement.

Light painting is one thing, but given all you can do with cameras, there could be lots of interesting similar handmade visual projects out of the box. If you happen to be in the New York area this week, we certainly welcome visual projects at the Handmade Music event Thursday night – bring something to work on or try out on the spot, if you like! But a DIY visual event is most certainly needed, too. Handmade Motion, anyone?

From Kyle McDonald on comments, here’s an alternative example in Jitter by Blair Neal which “augments” the space around you with painting effects, thanks to OpenCV on Jitter via the cv.jit objects.

The Album Leaf – The Light from blair neal on Vimeo.

  • Kyle McDonald

    Lichtfaktor has some amazing work.

    Blair Neal has also been experimenting with live light painting for a while. Most recently he's been using Jitter with a slightly modified setup — you augment the space you are in, rather than drawing in some abstracted black space

  • blair

    haha thanks beat me to it..mine is not nearly as gorgeous as their though

  • Kyle McDonald

    But yours has way more pixie dust!

  • Greg Kowalski

    Here's some digital action painting from qfwfq duo

  • Pixtur

    Simple idea with a great result.

  • lutzifer

    you might want to check out PIPS:lab (amsterdam). they do some nice stuff with light writing / painting…

  • +)


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  • cat

    Saw a performance by PipsLab, it was jaw dropping!

  • http://n +)

    This was already done by PIPSLAB 6 YEARS AGO..

  • Peter Kirn

    Okay, +)…. remember, this is a blog.

    PIPSLAB's work is super, super awesome. I'm going to write it up now.

    Light writing is a pretty basic technique. That's part of what makes PIPSLAB's work great – it really takes the idea to the edge of what it can do.

    But frankly, I have really no tolerance for the attitude that once someone does something, no one else can. Light writing is simply a photography effect that uses a long exposure. You might as well say once long exposure has been done, no one can manually set the exposure on their camera again.

    We basically cover one project at a time, because I don't always have time to sit down and write the history of a particular aspect of a medium. But that's what's great about comments – other people suggest things.

    Sorry to go off on this, but I'm getting tired of getting "this has been done before" on every other post. Sending us more links of stuff to look at – whether it's new to us or just reminds us of it or gives us better videos – is hugely, hugely helpful. But I think it doesn't create a good environment for artists if people feel like they're going to be shot down for doing work that's connected to other people's work. Being connected to other people's work is a good thing.

    Rant concludes.

  • Cat

    Hey guys, check out this video of light graffiti done by Talk Talk!

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