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Data Traffic

We are facing a road traffic revolution. Synchronised autonomous cars, now trying to fit in a human driving system, are going to reorder the chaotic street dynamics. Car lights, used for vehicles to communicate, represent these changes. Read full note

Data Traffic is a light intallation built of 24 car rear lights with 5 bulbs inside each lamp (120 separate pixels) programmed to work as a display to perform 4:30 minute-long show. The sound comes from mechanical switches used to control lights.

Exhibited in Kolonia Artystów (Gdańsk, PL) in 24.01-29.02.2020

Electrical scheme by Jakub Kirklewski

We are at the end of traffic as we know it. Autonomous cars are slowly joining the traffic – but still a man-driven traffic. They learn to behave like people, read signs dedicated to people and predict people’s behavior. If only robots drove the streets, we wouldn’t need any street lights or vertical and horizontal signs. By communicating with each other, they would drive without interruptions, at a constant speed – so it is also an ecological solution. They could start simultaneously, slow down with inhuman reflexes, make decisions in a split of a second.

Data Traffic light installation is a summary of my thoughts on road traffic in the face of the development of autonomous cars. The idea was born while standing in a traffic jam. I thought that car lights are a communication tool that not only serves to exchange information, but also represents human behavior, emotions, imperfections, and often competition. Observing this chaotic, primitively organized system, one can conclude that people are not adapted to drive vehicles. One slow-moving car stops the traffic, while another driving at a high speed increases the risk of an accident. I want to express this dynamics with an animation presented on a display built of 24 car rear lamps.