Mobile LED Dance Party

As we continue to incorporate iPods and other pocket-sized technologies into our lives, more and more artists are working to make us reconsider the everyday uses of these devices. The mobile phone gets repurposed in 'Cell Phone Disco,' an installation by designers Ursula Lavrencic and Auke Touwslager that creates a visual trace of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by active cell phones. The project consists of a dark room with walls covered in 'cells'--a battery connected to a sensor and a red LED. When an active cell phone comes near one of the walls, the LEDs within a meter flash, creating a red aura that shadows viewers as they walk back and forth (or dance) through the room while on the phone. The installation also has a section that allows viewers to draw lines as they pass an in-use cell phone. The installation is on view, through September 17th, at Rotterdam's Showroom MAMA, but its creators are working on a version that can be installed in public spaces where the project will truly intervene in day-to-day mobile phone use. - Bill Hanley