July 27, 2006

Big Pixels: L, XL, and XXL

Computer displays are growing ever higher-resolution, with ever-tinier pixels. So how about going in the opposite direction–representing data in ever-larger chunks? Three takes:

  • The PingPongPixel project digitizes images, then re-creates them on a 64 sq. ft. surface using 2700 shaded ping pong balls (each a 38mm pixel). Each rendering takes roughly two and a half hours to form.[Via]
  • Going a step larger, check out the video for Faithless’ I Want More. Well-disciplined schoolkids create huge portraits by flipping the pages of large books. The footage of this massive choreography apparently comes from a documentary about North Korea.
  • And for some really enormous pixels (of a sort), how about human-sized Space Invaders? Give it up for a squad of French kids schlepping around an auditorium all day to create this simulation.

Maybe the next step is to go from a particle to a wave: a team at Akishima Laboratories has found a way to print on waves, forming any English letter, if only for a moment. [Via]

Posted by John Nack at 1:10 PM on July 27, 2006


  • felix — 1:42 PM on July 27, 2006

    Awesome! But I think these pixels are bigger:
    [Cool–I’d forgotten all about these guys! Thanks for the link. –J.]

  • Mike Perry — 10:19 PM on August 04, 2006

    PingPongPixel–A lot of work to create such crude images. The time would have been better spent developing a digital paper we could all use.
    North Korea–Superficially beautiful until you realize how many childhoods were blighted by long and grueling hours of practice to create entertainment for a dictator and his stony-faced drones. I’ve heard these kids sign up so their parents can get food. And there is clearly a ‘people are gears in a vast machine’ mindset behind it all.
    French kids–Impressive, but at perhaps 2 minutes per snapshot, it’s obvious those kids had too much time on their hands. At least, unlike North Korea, it was probably their idea and they did it well.

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