diy visual | laser system (2011)

On this page we present the 2011 set of projects dealing with construction of our visual systems. The specific sound system was built in 2010. Both should be relatively easily transportable, not very power-hungry and cheap to make. Sound system will be presented elsewhere.

A visual system was discussed and the decisions went in two by two directions:

1. Refurbished LCD video projectors – instead of costly projector lamps the newest very powerfull LEDs would be used. 1000 lumen Cree leds (3.4 V at 3 A ) were ordered and 12 V / 90 W power supplies to accomodate three LEDs in series for 3000 lumens of white light. The idea is to use LEDs for a portable heavy duty projector. The number of LEDs could be increased. The LEDs are mounted on appropriate heat sink – together with constant current source for 3A – it all got too hot so the current source switched off. With a small ventillator attached at the back all is  ok – the projector’s own ventillation is also ok. The light of such system on its own is very powerful.

The work on one of the LCD projectors was just relatively ok (the colors were rendered well after the prism system in the projector was removed), but the brightness is very poor because of the very wide angle of LED dispersion. The resulting light from projector is very low.  A large focusing lense (or small individual LED reflectors) would probably do the trick. I bought a cheap LED hand lamp with three plastic reflectors which should do the trick.

2. Various types of laser projectors – they are very far-reaching sources of light – yet lightweight and economic in electric power. Some would be controlled by arduino microcontrollers – another recent artists’ area of work.

Along above two decisions/ dimensions some more directions appear:

3. To use the light sources in a default universalistic manner: as projectors of scanlined grafics – left to right & up to down – the  scanline (square) logic. This might not be economic with lower power lasers, since the fast line scan is very thin.

4. To use the light sources in a seemingly retro manner – using the direct XY laser deflection of mirrors, and in the case of lcd projectors and light sources – to use mirrors, prisms and lenses for a kind of mechanical graphics. A kind of reflector for video projector was built for another purpose but along the same lines. The small mirrors are attached to rubber and a loudspeaker behind expands the reflected projection.


5. The fifth decision was about projection surfaces. The existing urban surfaces would be used (houses), the alternative solutions checked (the water spray screen, the smoke as screen, helium baloons, etc.).

6. The next decision was about the use of visual projections. They would be used as a layered collective canvas – much like the way we use the sounds. Curves, letters (words) and graphics would be used – in all formats & decontructed forms.

During the first tests an aesthetic decision emerged: to run some light sources by sound (or vice-versa). In such case either sound or visuals become purely functional and the usual cultivated artists’ aestethic decisions are less important. The system then defines the artistic output – which is very good principle  since it brings us away from aestethic preconceptions which mainly define the forms and formats.

Technical backgrounds (found on the web):

– various
– all about lasers
– build a laser scanner

simple solutions:

– rotating drum with mirrors system
– one tiny mirror movable in two axis XY – cd laser pickup (Ljudmila)
– and a german version
– study of various mirror solutions

nice  solutions:

and some extra for optional use later on:

– laser transmitter & receiver
– laser transmitters, etc.


Slideshow from production phase just before C2_MFRU2011 interventions in Maribor (8.-17. november 2011):

Below is a little outdated description and images.


The laser projectors

For all versions it needs to be noted – never should the laser ray be outputted directly – without being moved faster than 25 Hz. The scanned laser ray is much less dangerous. For lower moving speeds it should be blanked out.

The lasers that we have are combined red and green modules and green pen single lasers. For RGB mixing of colors we’ll have to wait for cheap blue lasers. Until then mixing of RG modules should provide red-to-yellow-to-green colors. Follow -up note: color functionality will not be built in until the effectively functional system is built -> next year.

Five versions are being built:

Mark 0. Single mirror – single loudspeaker – single laser deflection system

A pivot with mirror attached to a loudspeaker membrane gives X or Y basic movement – depending of the mechanical asymetric properties of the pivot there is always some vibration in the perpendicular direction. Boštjan Leskovšek built this.


Mark 1. The oscilloscope-like sound-controlled XY deflection system

The system needs two perpendicular mirrors attached to loudspeaker membranes. The system can be driven through audio amplifier directly from the individual’s mixing desk/ sound source. This system has a very good time responsiveness/ sinchronicity of graphics to sound and with periodic waveforms (that are “the sound”) – a native circular behaviour. Borut Savski built this. The vertical movement of loudspeaker cone was translated to the deflection (radial) movement with the use of simple half-parallelogram system. It proved strong and efficient but very “diy”. In the example below is a solution with coaxial car loudspeaker and the high tone speaker removed.

Hard-disk motors will be tried out and optical or capacitive closed loop system (this becomes the mark4 then…).

Since Ljudmila’s Luka Frelih built a very nice arduino controlled cd optical focusing pickup, some more thought  will be spent in that direction – also with some form of feedback system. The goal would be to be able to write series of letters (=words…).

Computer audio outputs provide the various XY signals (sine, square, saw, mixed, modulated, etc. – with Pure Data software).

Arduino microcontroller could provide the manual potentiometer or some computer/ algoritmic controlled behaviors – for simple graphics. The much smaller and lightweighter deflection system should provide more graphical capabilities.

Mark 2. The two/ three/ four slanted rotating mirrors with computer controlled system and blanking

This is another nice solution found on web. Four mirrors were used at first but proved unsatisfactory. The three mirrors pass the laser light from one to the other. Each mirror is slanted by some small degree – so each creates a circle. A combination of three rotating mirrors leads to a set of symetric circular patterns that are being animated continuously as the relative speed of  mirrors changes. Again it is used with arduino controller which combines computer and manual control. Some simple auto changes can be added to the system with another potentiometer. The system is less good for some efficient dynamic control, since the slope of mirrors can’t be changed while rotating – so the size of graphics is constant. Borut Savski built this – now quite fed up with it. Still, it proved the most stable machine – it never broke down.

During the year 2011 there were some public events. Here are some pictures. We used the combined light system – not just the lasers.

Mark 3. The single mirror laser projector with full XY functionality

This one uses four loudspeakers arranged in square with two pairs on both diagonals linked electrically in antiphase to provide a symetric push pull action on the corners of a deflecting mirror. A MIDI computer communication with microcontroller is used to make it an advanced vector scanning system. Lars Vaupel and Stefan Doepner built this. The single mirror system is an excellent idea, but with the loudspeakers it lacks the scanning speed – just single letters can be drawn. The system also has a robotic arm system, so it the scanned (pwm modulated) laser ray can be moved about.

Mark 4. The advanced laser projector with full XY and RGB functionality

This will be built during the months to come. The basic description is here:

Especially good is the diy galvanometers description and electronics schematics for amplifier with capacitive rotation sensors. This “diy” however is not very practical solution since one wishes for ready-made fine-mechanic pieces.

This idea is becoming less and less interesting:

Mark 5. The experimental scanline laser projector will be built on the basis of old cathode-ray-tube vga computer monitor electronics. The electronics has all the drivers for horizontal X and vertical Y control – and for three lasers (RGB). However the speed of horizontal scan and the spead of laser modulation could be too much.



The laser projectors are vector graphics driven by specialized software. They are not left to right & up to down “square logic” scanners. Most softwares use stereo audio outputs for XY deflection and additional data for blanking.

Some software:

LaserBoy (ilda editing and wav output)
LaserWave (abstract generator)
HE-Laserscan (laser show software, music synchronization)
LFI player (live spontaneous shows)
OLA (laser art creation)
Monkeytools (laser art creation)
Heathcliff (laser art creation)
Sergy’s tools –


Events so-far:

2019 Program 2019 + Cirkulacija 2: Kakofonija kakovizija v OsmoziCirkulacija 2: Cacophony Cacovision at Osmoza + ALUO uho in ALUO+C2 praktikum + 2018 Ne(do)konč(a)no… + “-O-” = Simon Svetlik, Ryuzo Fukuhara in Takatsuna Mukai v C2 + Sound Chambers Series vol. VIII meets C2 + “Bodi Jimi tudi ti!” – delavnica na Gradu Kromberk | Pixxelpoint 2018 + C2 na festivalu Umetnosti in robotike v Trstu | C2 at the Festival of Arte e Robotica in Trieste + Biti aparat | biti umetnik = Roboti risarji + Simpozij Umetnost umetne inteligence | The Art of Artificial Intelligence + Exodos: C2 v Helsinkih / Finska + Jesenski dnevi tečejo | As autumn days go by… + MED, CIMET, ROZINE IN ČAS balletkvintetHONEY, CINNAMON, RAISINS AND TIME balletquintet + Večmedijski skupinski dogodek: MED ZVERJO IN NEMOČJO + Anže Sever – Rob + friformA\V / 16.08.2018 / Lina Rica (HR) / Bálint Bolcsó (HU) / Samo Kutin (SI) + Neven Korda – Daj mi mir! + Petek trinajstega: Trije zvočni pari + Vida Vojić: poezija, zvok in glas + Špica Ljubljana: Alessandro Di Giampietro – Thinga Things | Stvari + Jana Jevtović & Engin Can: Teleskopiranje | Telescoping + oOo! 5. oOobletnica poOovezoOovanj v C² + Izračun Slepih PilotovBlind Pilots Calculation + A Pit of Koelse | Luknja Koelse: Sublimacija znoja + Velenje v Ljubljani: Kutwyv + Nova londonska scena | New London underground Specimens, JC Leisure, Vida Vojić, Joe Summers + John Duncan “The TELL” = svetovna premieraJohn Duncan “The TELL” = world premier + In vendar se vrti | Eppur Si Muove + Cirkulacija 2: Program 2018 + Disinformation + Savski v ConiDisinformation + Savski in Zone + Alte Lezbiše Kunst; zvočni performans + 2017 Kikiriki in ROR v C2 + Doepner in Savski na Robotics Anteprima v Trstu + Marko Batista – Uspavanka za CIRKULACIJO + Nez Pez // Pez Pushing + Maribor: Ambasada Cirkulacija 2 na MFRU + Stiropor = ekspandirani polistiren + Klaus Filip (Dunaj/ Avstrija) ::optosonics::Klaus Filip ::optosonics:: + HuXterlTronik = Dani Bedrač + ::vtol:: = Dmitri MorozovHuXterlTronik = Dani Bedrač + ::vtol:: = Dmitry Morozov + Peter Rauch: Ponavljanje – samostojna skupinska razstava + Knjiga oglja / DopisovanjeM + Monika Pocrnjić – SVAROG.3 + Ponovni vzpon Poljske kraljice! + Tatsuru Arai – Arkhitek-ton /+\ Tinitus – Ljubezen je hladnejša od smrti + M / DopisovanjeM + Tanja Vujinović – Univerzalni objekti (Eksplozije, BBFs2, Tihožitje)Universal Objects (Explosions, BBFs2, Still Life) + Mešani dvojni trojček | Mixed double triplet = Mike Hentz, Javier Areal Vélez, Strunarja + Derek Holzer – VECTOR SYNTHESIS | VEKTORSKA SINTEZA + OPERA ROBOTANIKKA GENESISI Karl Heinz Jeron + ZASAVJE NOISEFEST v C2/Tobačna/Ljubljana! + Adam Donovan & Katrin Hochschuh: Psychophysics Machines and Swarms + Ewa Justka at Robotanikka: Light = Sound || Zvok=Svetloba? + Robotanika: Genesis + Mini Maker Faire @ C2 Tobačna Ljubljana! + Z.B.Ø.R. (Boštjan Perovšek, Marko Košnik, Borut Savski) + Alessandro Di Giampietro – Whatever you think I am that is what i’m not + Seppo Gruendler in Josef Klammer – Mali pribor | Kleines Besteck + Cirkulacija 2: Program 2017 + Preko vode do svobode v Kinu Šiška + Luka Prinčič: Razpoke vmesnika IF4Q + 2016 Duplerica: Boštjan Čadež “ROJ” in DivinaMimesis “AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ANIMAL” + Simfonija groze. Happy New Fear 2017! + RADART #7: RADAR NAD TOBAČNO + Zaprtje -> Dominik Mahnič – Kosi 2014-2016 + Robotanika na razstavi Robotica v TrstuRobotanica at Robotica exhibition in Trieste + slikarska razstava -> Dominik Mahnič | Kosi 2014-2016 + John Duncan v C² ! + Simptomi meta mesta #37: Želja + Anyma na obisku v Cirkulaciji 2 + MC2=Ǝ / gibalna razstava + Neverjetno! 10 let Cirkulacije 2 + Herman & Savski: Vračnica in bali; druga javna vaja + Nina Dragičević: Parallellax release + V nedeljo se dobimo: Na stalnem naslovu najinega početja + Robotanica = C2 does VelenjeRobotanika = C2 gre v Velenje + Herman & Savski: Vračnica in bali; prva javna vaja! + : Niku Senpuki & Emerge, pavleisdead, Emerge & Neven M. Agalma + Atlas of Tremors v C2 + Zasavje NoiseFest 2016 v C2-labu! + Klima: Nedekadentni koncert? + DekaDANCE + Mike Hentz: Živa umetnost kot raziskava kulture in življenjaLive Art as Research of Culture and Life + Napovedujemo: Klima, dekadenca, človek|strojAnnouncing: Clime, decadence, human|machine + Kdo je Mike HentzIntroducing Mike Hentz + Dogodek O5 v C² Event O5 in C² + V iskanju izgubljene enostavnostiIn search of the simplicity lost + Urkuma in ROR v C² + April/ maj v Cirkulaciji 2 – uvod v antidekadenco + Sejem Dostop do orodij | Access to Tools + Welcome to ATT/AND Rijeka – abandon normal devices fair!Dobrodošli na ATT/AND Rijeka – Semenj umetniških orodij! + 2015 happy new fear 2016 – zabava na žicahparty on wires + Oscar Martin: Ekstremni Atraktorji v C2Extreme Atractors at C2 + Jesenski odmevi Hrup smo mi: Dušan Zidar + Jesenski odmevi Hrup smo mi: Arturas Bumšteinas + Predstavitev C2 tehnologij na #MTFCentral + šmarnica in cvičk v C2: N’toko in Igor Vuk + Cirkulacija 2: Showcase 0.3 = prigodna razstava preteklih in prihodnjih del in opravil + Hrup smo mi::Kulturni vmesnikiNoise is Us::Cultural Interfaces + Strictly Analog 3# in Svetlobna Gverila v Tobačni & C² + RADART #6 :: RADAR RIZOM :: 4 LETA PLATFORME RADAR + Ars ac²ustic²a -> ART’S BIRTHDAY PARTY, 16. januar 2015 + 2014 Happy New Fear! + Hrup smo mi: Prostor časa | Space Time + Microbot (Stelarc in Doepner) v Cirkulaciji² + C² – otvoritev novega prostora Cirkulacije 2C² – the opening of the new Cirkulacija 2 space + Smernice razvoja: Prostor časa + 2013 VELIKA POŽRTIJA – sobota 21. december ob 20.00 + Arduino praktikum = novodobni tehno intenziv + Dva ugrabljenca z MFRU: John Smith in Oscar Martin + C2 / Platforma za totalno umetnost: Tri socialne skulpture + Izjava Cirkulacije 2 – skupine začasnih uporabnikov Roga + Globoki temni gozdDark forest disko + Zvok organizma – Organizem zvoka + Fruity-Box (Karl Heinz Jeron v Cirkulaciji 2) + Taste of Vtol/ Okus Vtola + Redno letno srečanje ljubiteljev cirkulacije + 2012 Cirkulacija 2: pričetek predstavitev in delavnic Uvod v arduino v RogLabu + Multipla cirkulacija – socius urbis / otvoritev RogLaba + Interšmano = Cirkulacija 2 praznuje… + Sajeta 2012, tehnološke delavnice -> Združene sile C2_TO + Tri muhe na en mah: Cirkulacija 2, Konrad Gęca in Ana Raquel PereiraThree mice: Cirkulacija 2, Konrad Gęca and Ana Raquel Pereira + Cirkulacija 2 v Zagrebu – galerija Močvara, 9. -13. junij 2012Cirkulacija 2 in Zagreb – Močvara gallery, 9. -13. June 2012 + Total Noise Session #3 – Marcus Beuter = umetnost zvoka + v Cirkulaciji 2: Uvod v arduino + Kunst und Brot – Salon des Refusés 2012/1 + 2011 Drevo spoznanja in Hrupni robot v C2 + Platforma za totalno umetnost na MFRU 2011Total art platform at MFRU 2011 + testna verzija: Urbi et Orbi intervencija – v vašem mestu, ko pade noč…trial version: Urbi et Orbi intervention – in your city, when the night comes… + Paralelni svetovi na Metelkovi + Cirkulacija 2 na Sajeti 2011 + Cirkulacija 2 na Svetlobni gverili + 42 let RŠ – platforma RADAR + Redundantne tehnologije – zbiralna akcija + Cirkulacija 2: Space is the Place + Indija v Cirkulaciji >< Cirkulacija v Indiji + 2010 Zvoki Cirkulacije 2 na Novem trgu v Ljubljani + Razširjena Cirkulacija 2 na PixxelpointuExpanded Cirkulacija2 at PixxelPoint + C2_Kiblix_Mfru_Haip : Total Noise Session v Cirkulaciji 2 + Jesenski sadeži Cirkulacije 2 + Social Noise Session + C2 na Paralelnih svetovih na Metelkovi + Cirkulacija 2 na festivalu Sajeta 2010Cirkulacija 2 at Sajeta 2010 + New media drivers feat. Cirkulacija 2 + Expanded Cirkulacija at Alkatraz + Expanded Cirkulacija at Alkatraz – scheduler + Cirkulacija na Vstop prost v Celju + Cirkulacija 2 prejme Zlato ptico + Predstavitev Cirkulacije 2 v Novi Gorici + Cirkulacija 2: Pomladanski zvitki in Mehki zvoki naveličanosti + Cirkulacija 2 gosti vegetarijanko, aktivistko, umetnico, glasbenico in galeristko Reni Hofmueller + 2009 Cirkulacija 2 na Netart Community Convention v Grazu + javno snemanje: Analogična kompozicija + Reality show – “voice-noise karaoke” + Moška umetnost / Male art + CIRKULACIJA 2 na festivalu SAJETA pri Tolminu + Prostor zvoka = telo zvoka + Cirkulacija 2 in Antikonzum + Netart – krompir v žerjavici + 2008 Cirkulacija 2: Vladavina Konzuma + Majda Gregorič v Muzeju premoderne umetnosti + Transpozicije prostorov na Paralelnih svetovih + Odprta Cirkulacija 2 + Cirkulacija na koruzi / Dario Seraval v Brlogu + Napoved: Cirkulacija pod pritiskom + Elektro / Elektra + Zvočenja v Cirkulaciji 2 + Novi okusi Cirkulacije 2 + Video: Kerber nezavednega + Kerber nezavednega in druge zgodbe + Okus Cirkulacije 2 – st. 3 + Video: Event C + Čisto običajen večer v Cirkulaciji 2 + Totalna razprodajna razstava umetnosti + Event C: Taljenje umetnosti v dogodek + Hobotnica s polento + Brlog + 2007 Rotirajoči dogodek v Cirkulaciji 2 + BRLOG + Predstavitev Trivia Records / Zapisi v Cirkulaciji 2 + Razbita lepota, Broken beauty + Reanimacija Cirkulacije + CIRKULACIJA 2 v tovarni Rog nadaljuje + Boj se kreativnosti oblastnikov! + INTERDISCIPLINARNA POSTAJA