Kinetic light sculptor Jason Krugman has followed a circuitous path to success. Raised in Boston, the 27-year-old recent graduate of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics from Tufts University and spent two years working on Wall Street before leaving to pursue art full-time.
“I wanted a skill set that wasn’t so disparate,” says Krugman, “allowing me [to do] creative and commercial work at once.”
His first project — the needy Single White Android — was an instant hit, and his interest in nature’s intricacies paved the way for larger, more organic pieces. “I really like the slogan, ‘It is what it does,’” says Krugman. “LEDs or resistors, they have very basic functions, but are also aesthetically enticing.”
This is apparent in Firefly 1440, a wind-actuated 8’×20′ display comprised of 40 individual plexiglass panels and 1,440 LED/switch pairs. “The entire piece is a massive array of sensors and outputs,” he says. As wind encounters it, switches activate each LED individually, forming dancing light patterns based on the wind’s force, timing, and direction.
“My goal is to produce work that’s intensely stimulating to the senses,” says Krugman. “Firefly looks complicated, but what’s happening is simple.”
Firefly 1440 is intended for large outdoor spaces like building exteriors and bridges, though it remains under development.
“I’m in the process of pushing the pieces I’ve made to the limits,” he says, “to see where and how they will fail.” Next he’ll add metal plating to the LED legs, to increase weather resistance.
Encouraged by recent interest in his work (Firefly 1440 was shown at the All Points West festival in Jersey City, N.J., and Firefly 870 is on display at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing, Queens), Krugman plans to approach building owners, architects, and museums about realizing site-specific installations. Most of his recent work, including LED mesh chandeliers, is available for sale on a customized basis.
Krugman Studio: jasonkrugman.com