Introduction: Formless Beings of Light

By Michael Glen, Isabella Cruz Chong, Cihang Yang, Peiying Feng

The ability for humans to intervene within nature and redesign it for their needs, combined with the ability of this process to inform future designs represents an exponential relationship. As example: the capacity for technology to facilitate the development of further technology. If this process were to continue it would approach a limit of complexity termed the Singularity.

According to futurist Ray Kurzweil,

"The Singularity will allow us to transcend these limitations of our biological bodies and brains ... There will be no distinction, post-Singularity, between human and machine"

We propose the question - In what manner would light be used in a world in which biology is transcended beyond physical form?

We speculate a distant future in which humans have transcended beyond the physical form of the body, though are yet to transcend the materiality of time and space. As such they exist as arrangements of information, in the form of energy suspended in an electromagnetic substrate. Despite the radical reconfigurations of form, the use of light energy is still the most effective means of communication and information transmission.

Within the Buddhist concept of Nirvana, when the passions of desire and ignorance are released the cycle of existence ceases. If such beings were capable of removing the barriers to omniscience via an exponential structuring of information, an analogous condition may be obtained in which desire no longer exists. Using this metaphor we can consider these beings to exist in a state of pre-enlightenment whose only remaining desire is that they wish to achieve a state of release from existence through full knowledge.




Petri Dish x 2

Servos x 2


Copper Tape

LEDs x 2

Glow Sticks





Step 1: Create Base

Use wood to build a base that will support the two petri dishes, tall enough to fit two servos underneath each petri dish.

Attach servos to another piece of wood, and position this in the middle of the base where the petri dish will be on top.

Attach two pieces of wood to the top of the servo, which will be holding the magnets.

Double sided tape works, but you can also glue it if you want something more permanent.

Glue two magnets on on end of the piece of wood on top of the servo. Do the same for the other servo.

Step 2: Code and Wire

Will update with code later.


Solder the wires that will connect to the power source on a piece of copper tape. Do the same with the ground, and also the outputs for the LEDs.

Tape the pieces of copper tape with the ground and LEDs output on the inner side of one platform, and one piece of copper tape on the inner side of the other.

Wire your servos and LEDs accordingly to the code.

Step 3: Pour the Glow Sticks and Ferrofluid

Cut a few glow sticks and pour their contents into the petri dish. We found green colored glow sticks work best.

Then pour a few drops of ferrofluid into the petri dish.

Turn everything on, and you should be done.