April 13, 2011
In downtown Seattle’s Metro Tunnel at University Station (3rd & University), there is an installation—‘Saccadoscopoeia’ by Bill Bell—on the northernmost wall of the mezzanine. It consists of scattered red and green columns of LEDs, spaced evenly left to right. To a casual observer, it looks like nothing more remarkable than randomly flickering vertical lines. But by standing back a distance, focusing on the display, and quickly glancing back and forth between its left and right sides, you can use the ‘persistence of vision’ effect to see hidden images being flashed on the LEDs. These images share a theme that changes about every 1-2 minutes. On one afternoon, for about 10 minutes, I watched these themes go by: stock market terms, crabs, sea vessels, fish, and Metro Transit symbols.
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