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Sea of Light

Maike Burk
New York

The public art installation “Sea of Light” illuminates Manhattan’s Seaport District with spheres of various sizes.

The public art installation “Sea of Light” illuminates Manhattan’s Seaport District by use of spheres of various sizes. The light show transforms the historic cobblestone streets with warm-colored light from over 150,000 LED bulbs.

Design and technology company Symmetry Labs debuted the project to revitalize the Seaport District and rebuild a sense of community. Alexander Green, founder of Symmetry Labs, explains: “I want people to feel a sense of wonder from my work and engage the community so people would want to visit the Seaport regularly. I wanted something surprising and engaging that would change throughout the year.”

Interactive Installation

Symmetry Labs created an interactive installation where the lighting reacts to movement, clothing color and sound patterns. As a result each interaction provokes a unique lighting pattern. The light globes are equipped with lighting technology and surrounded by thermal cameras that capture movement from video cameras and send information to the spheres, allowing them to glow based on how close or far away people are.

Acrylic is used to Acrylic is used to produce the desired lighting effect: The light shines through the material. A complex undertaking: each sphere is made out of large-format sheets of acrylic. As Green points out: “There is only one company in the entire country that creates such large pieces and the company had never molded them into spheres before”.

You can catch Sea of Light on display from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., until March 2018.