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September 2008 Archives

James Nick Sears

James Nick Sears is an artist and technologist. Working across disciplines, his work has been seen in The New York Times, New York's Museum of Modern Art, TED, and numerous other publications and exhibitions around the world. Building upon a combined musical and technological background and a desire to facilitate a new kind of global perspective, James is currently driving to extend the series of ORB displays to new levels of scale and precision.

Contact James or visit

ORB, v.2 (2008)

This second iteration of the spherical surface display ORB debuted in April 2008 at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA. It features 216 lines of resolution on an 18" (45cm) diameter sphere. Thanks to improved control, color depth is continually being advanced and exceeds one million colors. SD cards are used for storage, so nearly 30 minutes of video can be programmed onto the piece, making it an ongoing experiment in terms of content.


ORB Video Demo from James Sears on Vimeo.


UltraORB (2007)

UltraORB is a multi-axis three dimensional persistence of vision piece that uses rotation upon two perpendicular axes in tandem with microprocessor control to create visual displays within a three dimensional volumetric space.


Stream or download the ITP thesis presentation of ultraORB


Ron Sears


Ron Sears was born in Jerseyville, Illinois, on July 21, 1956. He was the second child of a U.S. Army Air Corps soldier, who met and married Ron's mother in Berlin during World War II. Growing up in a small town, he made his mark as a high school auto shop ace, turning a 1968 Camaro into a thing of beauty and the envy of all street racers in the area. After attending college, he joined his family business, Sears Wholesale, but realized this was not for him.

He shortly discovered the call of the road, long distance trucking, and again made his mark by being one of the most successful owner-operators in the entire area. Missing his wife and young son, he sold his truck and was drawn into organic farming as a way to bring attention to the mid-west area what he had learned on the coasts--conventional agriculture was not the best way to produce food for a healthy population. This segued into a career as the director of operations at one of St. Louis County's premier compost centers. After spending many years there, Ron decided to leave and pursue a life-long dream--to contribute to the art community through his large scale and thoughtful pieces of sculpture

Contact Ron.

City Streets, Northern Lights (2006)


City Streets, Northern Lights is an exploration of the interplay between all things urban and natural -- massive, yet delicate.

Created of powder coated steel and aluminum, cast iron, glass, and microprocessor controlled LED lighting and weighing in at over five hundred pounds, the piece impresses viewers with a combination of scale and grace.

A massive pedestal remains seemingly glued to the Earth as a shimmering light display patterned after the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, as the phenomenon is commonly known, floats overhead.

Inspired by the power of gravity, nature's graceful beauty, and the human energy of the urban world, City Streets, Northern Lights is an exciting debut effort by artist Ron Sears and is currently installed in New York University's Kimmel Center for Student Life, located at 60 Washington Sqare S, New York, NY.

City Streets, Northern Lights
Ron Sears
in collaboration with
James Nick Sears and Anne Hong

Powder Coated Steel and Aluminum; Cast Iron; Glass; Microprocessor Controlled LED Lighting

Dimensions: 95"(241cm) H x 45"(114cm) W x 96"(244cm) D
Weight: 502 lbs(228 kg)



Art Magnitude

Art Magnitude is based upon the collaboration and work of father-son team, Ron and Nick Sears, creating art that explores the boundary between the physical and the virtual.