Speed Shift is a public art light sculpture created by Erwin Redl and installed at the Skinker MetroLink station. Two boards of LED lights pulse, reflecting the demands of mass transit.

Speed Shift

Erwin Redl | 2006

Skinker MetroLink station
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), electronics, glass, sound
1′ 11″ h. x 22′ w. x 3″ d.

On the mezzanine crosswalk overlooking the Skinker MetroLink platforms, two pairs of rectangular LED boards face each other from both ends of the gangway.  Strips of horizontal light zip towards the centers of the rectangles in accordance with synchronized beeping sounds.  Speed Shift reflects the demands and logistical underpinnings of mass transit: speed, mobility, precise timing, and computer technology.

The artist, Erwin Redl, found that the aesthetic limitations of LEDs as single-point-only light sources were a perfect referential link to the computer pixel.  He believes “LEDs are an ideal artistic medium because they are extremely cheap when purchased in large quantities, require no maintenance, have very low power consumption, and can be easily controlled with micro-computers.”  Redl assembles his installations according to a narrow set of self-imposed rules which often incorporate algorithms, controlled randomness, and other effects inspired by computer code.

Commissioned by Arts in Transit for Metro Transit St. Louis.