Counters (2023-) are a series of alternative-base counting visualizers. 

They were made as a proposal for the City of Albuquerque Rail Trail Public Arts project, specifically as the final project for the Internet of Things Bootcamp. 

The concept is inspired by the form and use of Dienes blocks and indigenous counting frames- specifically other cultures’ uses of numbering systems other than the standard base 10. 

The work’s declaration of a ‘count’ as a meaningful action sets a stage to handle information generated as energy. 

In their proposed final form, Counters would exist as a series of large scale outdoor lighting sculptures, playing heavily into the industrial design of transportation lighting.

In their current physical form, Counters are wall-scaled LED matrices as a proof of concept. These have been done in a pental and octal base configuration. 

Counters obviously serve to perform a super-simple action, count. But its use of non-standard bases and LEDs as visual manipulatives serve to recontextualize ‘amounts’ into different forms. While the impact of this change seems non-transformative at small values, I hope to use it to visualize mentally unfathomable numbers at a new scale.

While the simplest action is a timer, the alternate base matrix could visualize any data, especially data that could be gathered from a public sculpture. 

Counter 6 is a larger scale version made for public display. It consists of two rows of 16 signal lights, visualizing the direct 16-bit measurement values from an environmental light and temperature sensor. 

Counter 6 is on display at Albuquerque City Hall until June 7, 2024, as part of the Prototype show, along with the other artists part of the IoT Rail Trail art initiative. 


Counter 6, base 2 (binary) visualizer, at Albuquerque City Hall 

Binary Number Visualized in LEDs

Counter 4, base 8 (octal) visualizer