Triforium - CODAworx


Submitted by LightRiders

Client: Now Art LA

Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $100,000

Project Team


David Howe



Claire Evans

The Triforium Project


Douglas Dunn


The Triforium, located in Downtown Los Angeles, was designed by Dr. Joseph Young in the 1970’s . It was installed with early technology and in an area that was desolate after dark. Originally designed as an audio-reactive light installation, it was plagued with problems from the beginning, politically contested and denounced by art critics. Its incandescent bulbs mostly burned out and music control equipment removed.

LightRiders used 1,474 independently controlled 20 LED matrices, a total of 29,480 LEDs, to illuminate the original Murano glass enclosures from below, connected sequentially by hand and custom programmed with audio reactive programming controlled live.


The Triforium Project and Now Art LA asked LightRiders to develop a temporary solution to light the Triforium and remind people of what the original artist intended the structure to look like, to feel like, and to witness the possibilities of an artists 40 years ahead of hi time. At the very core, The Triforium Project and Now Art LA wanted the Triforium to fulfill its potential and truly show what was once only dreamt of as possible- an audioreactive, dynamic, colorful and intentional technological sculpture that delighted both the visual and auditory senses, connecting both to create a unique experience unknown around the world.

For three Fridays in 2018, the Triforium lived again. With lighting design, installation, and programming support to incorporate the original light and sound programs trasncribed by Douglass Dunn—rescued from dusty, eight-bit paper tapes and transcoded into modern software— coupled with modern programming using up-to-date technology by LightRiders, the Triforium returned for three Fridays, reacting in real-time to live musical performances. For the first time in decades, Angelenos had the opportunity to experience the Triforium as it was meant to be experienced—as Joseph Young imagined, a “Rosetta Stone of art and technology.”


The Triforium Project and Now Art LA approached LightRiders to find a solution to temporarily light the Triforium to mimic the original artistic vision using modern LED technology. The six story, 60 ton structure had outdated wiring, burned out bulbs, and little infrastructure to build upon without disturbing the original construction. Through a brief research and development process, LightRiders tested several lighting options, ultimately deciding to use flat LED matrices laid on top of each one of 1,474 glass Murano triangle light diffusers by hand to illuminate the glass structure above without touching the original light bulbs housed within each light diffuser.

Additionally, it was mandatory that the design not interfere or create any permanent or lasting damage to a historical landmark, so particular care was taken to use light-touch supplies and an installation process that was simple and delicate.

tThe original coding and programming of the Triforium was interpreted using modern, boutique, LED/pixel control software. LightRiders collaborated with Douglass Dunn to interpret old concepts, provide software and guidance in how to implement and control lights live, while take over for the final acts of the series to use modern programming techniques to illustrate modern programming on this incredible canvas.

Additional Information

This project was curated by the Triforium Project and Now Art LA, with funding from the Goldhirsch foundation. LightRiders (David Howe and Daniel Rizik-Baer) is proud to have contributed the technological and lighting design, software support, and light control to make this dream a reality.