Peephole is a one character screen. It displays a week of text that was captured from the artist's computer, via a key logger, one character at a time.
The work uses an Arduino board to control the LED's, which are mounted on a prototyping board, that yes, was bought at Radio Shack. Each LED connected to shift registers (Part Number STP16CL596 if you want to look it up in the catalogs), and also yes, each LED had a short wire that had to be soldered to the chips. I've since printed boards.
Although it would be nice if the screen was self-contained, the complexities of serving the text from a memory card and the creation of a font meant that I took "the easy way out" and it is driven from a Processing sketch. The benefit of that is that the screen is simply a raster of the sketch's display, so it can show anything that you can display in Processing. In 35 pixels.