One of the weirdest artists at Ars Electronica Festival was Maywa Denki, a crazy japanese guy that creates all kinds of crazy objects (like a fishbone-shaped xylophone which lights a bulb for each key you hit with electric sticks), superweird automated and semi-automated musical instruments (like a pedal organ playing six guitars remotely) and all kinds of art objects, books, t-shirts and cool toys.
One of these toys is mine now as I couldn‘t resist buying one immediately. It is called Bitman and is a must for every Blinkenlights-inspired geek. The small device features a 8×8 pixel display with a couple of useful modes (displaying a scrolling text message or the current date). The default mode however displays Bitman, a small pixel person that just stands and looks at you.
Now the cool part: if you shake Bitman, the small pixel man jumps around, changes orientation and also produces some accompanying buzzing noises. This gravity sensor is also used to scroll through settings and to select characters for new messages. Simply beautiful trash art.
Maywa Denki also offers a big standalone light controller to control a 8×8 pixel display using light bulbs. Not sure what the actual interface is, the web site is neither very specific nor very link-friendly (fuck frames!)