Tagging a Champion

The winner in the latest Instructables contest takes The Matrix further than any red pill could


Have 24 cameras handy? Too bad, because if you had 'em (along with a cabal of the East Coast's best graffiti artists and some flashlights), you could make a stab at the below. We've always liked Graffiti Research Lab, but after taking a peek at their winning Intructables entry (How to Enter the Ghetto Matrix (DIY Bullet Time)), we're downright smitten.

Its mission "to make open source the sixth element of hip-hop" has never made more sense.

I won't try to replicate the 14-step-long instructable here, but basically they built a bullet time rig--a 180º ring of cameras that can be triggered simultaneously for shooting an otherwise impossible space-time permutation (think of Neo dodging bullets in The Matrix). The space-time footage would have been impressive on its own, but the introduction of light graffiti pushes this concept into the mind-blowing realm. While the camera shutters are open, graffiti artists throw up tags using flashlights and LEDs . Even better, they paint light around people--lines, stars, a gun in hand (and check out Large Professor with a baseball bat at the 3:01 mark). Right before the shutters close a strobe illuminates the subject, making him as visible as the light show.

But enough talk. Here's the video that helped Graffiti Research Lab win a $15,000 VersaLaser--first place in the 2008 Instructables.com and Universal Laser Cutter Contest--it speaks for itself.