Chris Combs
Image of 8 Bits (2:08) Micro-B

8 Bits (2:08) Micro-B


These eight lights show a binary number, increasing twice a second. When it fills up all the lights, about every 2 minutes and 8 seconds, it resets and the colors change.

This piece is sold as part of an edition of 50. It includes wall-mounting clips, power adapter, documentation, and a 6' white USB cable. BYO nails or screws (2x).

I‌ ‌think‌ ‌of‌ ‌these‌ ‌“bit‌ ‌counters”‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌timepiece‌ ‌designed‌ ‌by‌ ‌computers,‌ ‌where‌ ‌we‌ ‌humans‌ ‌ have‌ ‌to‌ ‌adapt‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌convenient‌ ‌method‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌system,‌ ‌rather‌ ‌than‌ ‌the‌ ‌other‌ ‌way‌ ‌around.‌ ‌ ‌

They‌ ‌mark‌ ‌the‌ ‌passing‌ ‌of‌ ‌time‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌less‌ ‌human-conforming‌ ‌way,‌ ‌quietly‌ ‌changing‌ ‌their‌ ‌environment;‌ ‌a‌ dappled light changing ‌over‌ ‌the‌ ‌course‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌day.‌ ‌

The‌ ‌addition‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌few‌ ‌extra‌ ‌lights‌ ‌makes‌ ‌a‌ ‌big‌ ‌difference‌ ‌in‌ ‌how‌ ‌long‌ ‌it‌ ‌takes‌ ‌to‌ ‌fill‌ ‌up:‌ ‌

Number of lights (bits): Amount of time, at two ticks/second
8: 2 minutes, 8 seconds
16: 9 hours, 6 minutes, 8 seconds
24: 13 weeks, 6 days, 2 hours, 10 minutes, 7 seconds
32: 68 years, 2 weeks, 5 days, 3 hours, 14 minutes, 6 seconds

It’s hard to imagine that a few extra lights could have such an impact. To me, this geometric increase speaks to the unintended complexities of any system of technology. A creator might think they’re just sprinkling in a new feature or two—but it’s not always possible to imagine the ramifications when they’re released into a wider system.

The larger the system, the larger the number of possible interactions; the peril, the promise.


LEDs, circuit board, wood PLA, nighttime dimming sensor, and electronic components



Image of Sync/Desync Micro (Edition of 50)
Sync/Desync Micro (Edition of 50)
Image of Sync/Desync R/G/B Micro (Edition of 50)
Sync/Desync R/G/B Micro (Edition of 50)
Image of 16 Bits (9:06:08) Micro-B
16 Bits (9:06:08) Micro-B
Image of 16 Bits (9:06:08) Micro-A
16 Bits (9:06:08) Micro-A
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