ArtStrobes for Sale

These ArtStrobe wall units are interactive, with the two knobs on the face you can change the optical pattern on the moving disk. 21.5″ x 21.5″ x 4″ They have a long eleven foot cord. Plugs in anywhere in the world with a simple plug adapter, no need for a transformer. Input: 100-240VAC 50/60Hz 2A


ArtStrobe Videos

ArtStrobe is interactive art

20" spinning polyhedron surrounded by mirrors

36" x 6" spinning cylinder surrounded by mirrors

20" x 24" spinning cylinder

60" disk

ArtStrobe in the park

My first ArtStrobe - 18" disk

Experimenting with the electronics and the fluorescent patterns

The ArtStrobe is interactive, kinetic light art. It works by spinning an object that has fluorescent-colored patterns on it. Ultraviolet strobe lights are aimed at it and rings of bright fluorescent patterns emerge, transform in color and move in and out of focus. The user can change these patterns by turning two knobs mounted near the ArtStrobe. Wherever I show the work, people are fascinated by it and are puzzled by how it works even after I explain the technology. Be sure to visit the videos section on the right side of this webpage for many other videos of other ArtStrobe work.

My discovery of the idea for the ArtStrobe was unexpected. The project I was working on at the time was not art-related. I was working with shortwave UV lights and UV LEDs. I had a UV light array that was pulsing and I had a piece of cardboard with fluorescent ink patterns painted on the surface. As I passed the cardboard under the pulsing light, I noticed these elaborate colored light patterns appear from the fluorescent ink. I thought this was amazing and quickly set out to make a spinning prototype to test out the discovery.

After making an 18 inch prototype, I set out to make a much larger one. I made a large piece covering a 60 inch aluminum disk. I arranged a series of concentric fluorescent colored circles on its face. I built a steel tower to mount it up high so groups of people could all see it. I drove up to the annual BurningMan Festival in Nevada to show the work. It was well received there and I got a lot of good feedback about the work. From there I branched out to other revolving shapes and new fluorescent patterns.

There are a lot possible applications for this technology, I have prototyped a number of different arrangements of lights, colors, and other factors. I couldn’t determine why I had never seen anything like this until I learned that UV LEDs were not developed until around 1999 and not cheap until years later.

Photography and video really don’t document this work very well. The work is a spinning object with a strobe light flashing at different frequencies. I have tried many different kinds of video cameras and none of them really capture what the eye sees.

Kinetica Art Fair – London, UK

I attended the Kinetica Art Fair in London this February. Kinetica Art Fair is produced by Kinetica Museum and is the first of its kind in the UK. It features kinetic, electronic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and multi-disciplinary new media art, science and technology. The fair lasted five days at the Ambika P3 gallery. It was a great experience talking to visitors and the other artists at the fair. I enjoyed giving a presentation about the technology I was using on the Musion Stage at the fair.

Wired Magazine

By Philippa Warr
10 February 2012
Wired Magazine

With so much whirring, clunking, tapping, thrumming and pulsing, it’s easy to feel a little overwhemed at Kinetica Art Fair. When you’re not being offered a transcendent light experience you’re being instructed to spin handles and press buttons on mysterious-looking contraptions. In order to ease you in and flag up some fabulously inventive artworks which caught our eye, here’s’s hitlist for Kinetica attendees.

Leif Maginnis
Maginnis specialises in interactive electronic light art — in this case a series of spinning fluorescent carousels which can be manipulated with two knobs — one for colour and one for speed. By indulging in a spot of knob twiddling each viewer creates their own personal viewing experience with minute shifts of the dial producing dramatic changes in the wheels’ appearance. (Not so great if you’re prone to travel sickness, though.)


Creative Review Magazine

By Eliza Williams
10 February 2012
Creative Review Magazine

Presenting a mixture of Heath Robinson-esque contraptions and high-tech interactive works, the Kinetica Art Fair returns to London this weekend, celebrating artists who create works using light, sound, robotics and electronics…

At the high-tech end of things, there is a beautiful series of hypnotic spinning light displays by Leif Maginnis (still of one shown top), that you can speed up or slow down by twiddling a knob on the screens.


Don’t Panic Magazine

By Jack Sharp
12 February 2012
Don’t Panic Magazine

We head along to Kinetica Art Fair, where science and robotics meets art, to meet a face-stealing robot.

Leif Maginnis’ work is also particularly captivating, and is based on the stroboscopic effect of fluorescent-coloured objects moving under ultraviolet strobe lights. In darkened room, Leif has arranged a number of rotating circular screens, each one fitted with two knobs. On the dart board-like screen, colours spin causing a strobe effect. Attendees turn the two knobs, thereby changing the speed of the rotation and brightness of the ultraviolet light. The purpose of the piece, as explained by Leif himself, is to hopefully evoke a state of trance in the viewer, much like watching a fire.