Only Connect - CODAworx

Only Connect

Client: Reby Cary Youth Library

Location: Fort Worth, TX, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $377,000

Project Team


Joseph O'Connell

Creative Machines

Creative Machines

Creative Machines


Thousands of colored glass spheres are delicately placed in intricate stainless steel lace and integrated with colorful LED lighting driven by an optical sensor housed in a small interactive kiosk. There are additional hidden sensors placed throughout the library that trigger special themed sequences in the LED lighting. Only Connect is a net of neurons that dances overhead. The “network” extends outside the building to the retaining wall, demonstrating that the mental and social connections made inside the library extend beyond its walls. When not being directly interacted with, the control computer plays back a light show emphasizing the neuronal structure of the artwork. There are two direct methods of interaction, using either the kiosk or any of 9 hidden buttons arranged throughout the collection space. Each of the 9 hidden buttons contains a battery-less wireless transmitter uniquely paired with 9 receivers located inside the kiosk. When any of the buttons are pressed, the corresponding receiver closes a contact that is sensed by a PLC, the control computer regularly reads the status of the PLC inputs and will play a specific show for each button that is pressed.


Only Connect represents the ways neurons connect as a mind learns, the connections
made between community members, the trails of shooting stars overhead, and the memories of visiting libraries as you grow.


The neurons are created from thousands of hand-placed colored glass spheres and LED lighting, providing a joyous yet sophisticated counterpoint to the white interior of the library. They shine brilliantly with color when light shines through them. Driving the network of LEDs is a sensor housed in a small kiosk that responds to the movements and colors it sees. Examples are waving your hands, moving a book in front of, a colorful illustration, or the color of your sleeve.

Additional Information

Media: stainless steel, glass spheres, LED lighting, touch button, optical sensor, electronics