Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Flatsun, 2011
Custom-made LED screen, computerized surveillance tracking system, fluid dynamic algorithms (Navier Stokes, fractal flames, reaction diffusion and Perlin noise), aluminum, stainless steel, glass
55.1 in / 140 cm, diameter
6.3 in / 6 cm, depth
Edition of 6
Installation view at La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris, France, 2011


A circular display that simulates the turbulence at the surface of the Sun using mathematical equations like navier-stokes, reaction-difussion and perlin noise. The piece reacts to the presence of the public by varying the speed and type of animation displayed. If no one is in front of the piece the turbulence slows down and eventually turns off. As the built-in camera detects people more solar flares are generated and the fake Sun shows more perturbation and activity. At 140 cm diameter, “Flatsun” is exactly a billion times smaller than the real Sun.The piece consists of custom-made panels with 60,000 red and yellow LED lights, a computer with 8 processing cores, a camera with a pinhole lens (you can see the black dot in the middle of the display) and a mechanically engineered aluminium, steel and glass structure that pivots for maintenance. A single knob lets the collector set the brightness of the piece and turn it on and off.

Photo by Maxime Dufour


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