Data visualization artist Aaron Koblin teamed with director Ben Tricklebank to produce a piece for Doug Aitken’s Station to Station public art project, currently traveling across the country by train.
“Doug reached out to me a while back and said, ‘I’m working on this train-based art extravaganza, what could you do in that context?’” Koblin told Wired. “Basically, I thought the train itself, the physicality of the train was really interesting – the idea of space and time and how those play into perception.”
The result is Light Echoes, a long-exposure photography project which captures traces of light being broadcast onto landscapes by a laser aboard a moving train. Sound simple? It isn’t. After testing the concept with a cheap laser bought on eBay, they rented a better one along with a boom lift that they mounted onto a train-ready utility cart. Then they rolled slowly along the tracks, laser projecting an image pixel by pixel. Those images were then captured using a Red Epic high-definition camera. Along with the still images, Tricklebank created a short film for the project. Watch above.