Cell Phone Disco

Cell Phone Disco is an experimental installation made out of sensor equipped LEDs.

Here’s the artists’ description:

Cell Phone Disco is a playful experimental installation made out of ?ashing cells. By multiplication of a mobile phone gadget, only slightly altered consumer product, we created a space to experience the invisible body of the mobile phone.

Flashing cells basically consist of one or more LEDs, battery and a sensor that detects electromagnetic (EM) radiation transmitted by an active mobile phone. When the sensor detects EM waves it sets off the LEDs to ?ash for a couple of seconds. In general the ?ashing cells are enclosed in a plastic casing on a strap and sold as a fashion accessory for a mobile phone.

The Cell Phone Disco installation has two parts:


Flashing cells with sensors of higher sensitivity are used to detect electromagnetic radiation of active mobile phone in a range of approximately a meter.  This way a sort of aura appears around the phone, revealing a part of it’s invisible body. While the user moves around talking on his phone, this aura follows the conversation as a light shadow through the space.


Much less sensitive cells are used to create a canvas for an inkless marker. The LEDs get activated only by an extreme proximity of the electromagnetic source. Moving the phone close to the cells therefore leaves a trace of light, an temporary electromagnetic drawing.

Created by Ursula Lavrencic and Auke Touwslager

One thought on “Cell Phone Disco

  1. Interesting read. There is currently quite a lot of information around this subject around and about on the net and some are most defintely better than others. You have caught the detail here just right which makes for a refreshing change – thanks.

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