Jason Krugman

Creative Technologist • Light Sculptor • Experience Designer

New York City

Artist Profile

Jason Krugman is an artist who invents new applications for LED lighting technology. His work combines materials with electronics, referencing nature through accumulation and modularity. His studio produces large-scale LED cable systems as well as installation artworks for public spaces and events. Krugman has invented several environmentally responsive LED systems including Firefly, a wind sensitive LED network based on tiny hand-made switches.

In addition to designing and producing multiple public art projects, his studio is currently prototyping moving LED mesh arrays and fluid-based sensors for LED tilt switches. Krugman teaches Physical Computing at Sarah Lawrence College and holds degrees from Tufts University and the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He was a fellow at Fabrica in Treviso, Italy and has shown work at various galleries and museums in the United States and Europe. 

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Project: Claremont University Consortium
Artists Role: Creator, Builder 

In early 2011, Jason Krugman Studio was commissioned to design and build a custom interactive LED skin for the interior of the administrative headquarters of the Claremont University Consortium in Claremont, California. "Digital Garden" features an ambient interactivity, displaying waves of blue light in response to motion in the surrounding space. The installation's low-resolution and slowly changing appearance subtly displays the building's awareness of its inhabitants. Comprised of 6000 bi-color LED pixels, the installation uses a custom-designed cable system to provide each pixel with power, data and physical support.

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Project: Firefly
Artists Role: Creator

 The Firefly Wind Light System revolves around a proprietary switch for sensing the wind. Picture an electrified wind chime; as the wind blows the metal chime into contact with the metal gong, it closes a circuit. Firefly's LED/switch pairs do the same thing, except on a much smaller scale. When the wind blows on their pendulum switch, they light up.

Conceptually, this project developed out of an idea to create a modular system that does not rely on a central decision making hub, such as a computer. Instead, its design takes in data through its many nodes, allowing for extremely accurate and responsive output based on their immediate environments.

Originally developed as a Master's Thesis at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, Firefly installations have been commissioned for several large public art installation around the United States. The initial piece is currently on display at the New York Hall of Science (pictured below).

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Project: Glassphemy!
Artists Role: Builder, Constructor, Collaborator

Conceptualized and designed by Macro-Sea, this carefully designed structure allows people to hurl empty glass bottles at friends, loved ones and strangers without fear of causing injury. Jason Krugman Studio collaborated with Macro-Sea and Vamos Architects, designing and building a customized lighting system that responds to the smashing bottles with dramatic bursts of light. 

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Project: New Museum
Artists Role: Builder, Collaborator

Video mapping projection on the New Museum as part of the exhibition, Let Us Make Cake, directed by Nuit Blanche New York andLight Harvest Studios. We incorporated a latice of LED into the stark rectilinear facade of the museum, creating an overlay of illuminated points blanketing the stacked cubic building structure. Footage was shot of Jason forming a piece of LED mesh into a clear acrylic model of the museum and then projection mapped onto the building's facade. This piece was a collaboration with John Parker. New Museum scale model by Softlab.

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Project: Living Objects
Artists Role: Creator, Builder

The Living Objects are a series of dream-inspired sculptures integrated into our everyday environs. They take advantage of our innate cognitive and emotional reaction to the human form, weighing on their surroundings with their scale and energy. Hundreds of interior lights diffused by their semi-translucent skin imbue them with an emotional warmth and sentience.

Living Objects sculptures have been shown in public parks and also featured on national television. Smaller ones, like "Freddy", sometimes appear in trees and various urban locations at night. This project has been commissioned by The New York City Parks Department, Crossing Art Gallery, Summit NJ Public Arts, the Summit Grand Hotel, Gossip Girl the television show, Moogfest and Electric Zoo music festivals, Brooklyn Night Bazaar and Dekalb Market.

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Project: Treble Chandelier
Artists Role: Builder, Creator

A one-of-a-kind LED chandelier designed in collaboration with Sam Baron for Fabrica, United Colors of Benetton's Communications Research Center in Treviso, Italy. The chandelier was first exhibited in Fabrica's exhibition, Next Cabane in conjunction with Salone del Mobile 2011. The piece is part of Krugman's Organic Electric series. Comprised of more than 3000 hand-soldered sharp-focus LEDs, the piece appears to change in brightness when viewed from different angles.