Brooklyn-based artist Jen Lewin was 19 while camping on the west coast of Australia and one night she came across puddles left by the tide and illuminated by the moon.
“They became pools of light…it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen,” she said.
The new media and interactivity sculptor has spent years transforming that vision into her internationally acclaimed public art installation “The Pool,” which arrives in Brooklyn this week.
The pool is a giant, interactive room made up of 100 large circular cushions where visitors are encouraged to “walk, dance, jump and play”.
The pads use thousands of LED lights, which respond to touch and create a world where “play and collaborative movement create swirling effects of light and color,” according to a press release.
The artworks use mesh networking technology and custom code that allows visitors to activate platforms that respond to touch – so Brooklynites can participate in an ever-changing composition.
“It pushes the boundaries of art and technology,” Lewin said in a video about the piece, adding that it took nearly 10 years for LED technology to change enough to look like lights. puddles of light that people could “jump and jump and play in.”
She said she never wanted to create a room that people had to line up to wait their turn. Instead, The Pool is a work of art where 100 people can play at once.
“Then there’s this moment when they stop and look around and everyone participates together,” she said.
Over Lewin’s 27-year career, she has become known for her work that unites nature and technology. Her sculptures examine the ripple effects each individual has on their community and habitat, the energy of human connection, and the power of collective action.
Since its inception in 2008, The Pool has toured more than 20 countries, Lewin said. It’s his first time at Industry City in Brooklyn.
The Collision Project is open year-round for creatives to submit public art proposals to view on the Industry City campus, the complex says.
The pool will be open to the public daily from January 28 through March 28 from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Industry City’s Courtyard 1/2 at 220 36th Street.
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