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Massive Interactive Art Piece Inspired by Pools of Moonlight Comes to BK

The massive piece by Jen Lewin opening at Industry City mirrors pools of water made by the outgoing tide, lit up by the moonlight.
The Pool by artist Jen Lewin. Photo: Scott Wiseman / Supplied

Brooklyn-based artist Jen Lewin was 19 when she was camping on the west coast of Australia and, one night, came across pools of water left by the tide and illuminated by the moon.

"They became pools of light... it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen," she said.

The new media and interactive sculptor spent years turning this vision into her internationally acclaimed public art installation 'The Pool,' which is coming to Brooklyn this week.

The Pool by artist Jen Lewin. Photo: Jen Lewin Studio

This Friday, Jan. 28, The Collision ProjectIndustry City’s campus-wide arts initiative — will unveil the massive installation at the Sunset Park complex.

The Pool is a giant, interactive piece made of 100 large circular pads where visitors are encouraged to "walk, dance, jump and play."

The pads use thousands of LED lights, which are responsive to touch and create a world where "play and collaborative movement create swirling effects of light and color," according to a press release.

The Pool by artist Jen Lewin. Photo: Alex Koch / Supplied

The artworks uses mesh-network technology and custom code that allows visitors to activate platforms that respond to touch — so Brooklynites can participate in an ever-changing composition.

"It's pushing the boundaries of art and technology," Lewin said in a video on the piece, adding that it took almost 10 years until LED technology changed enough that it could look like pools of light that people could "leap and jump and play in."

She said she never wanted to create a piece which people had to line up to wait their turn. Instead, The Pool is an artwork where 100 people can play at the same time.

The Pool by artist Jen Lewin. Photo: Duncan Rawlinson

"Then there's this moment where they stop and look around and everyone is participating together," she said.

Over Lewin's 27 year career, she has become known for her work that unites nature and technology. Her sculptures look at the ripple effects that each individual has on their community and habitat, the energy of human connection and the power of collective action.

The Pool by artist Jen Lewin. Photo: JR East / Supplied

Since it was first built in 2008, The Pool has toured more than 20 countries, Lewin said. This is its first time at Industry City in Brooklyn.

The Collision Project is open all year for creatives to pitch public art proposals to be seen at Industry City’s campus, the complex says.

The Pool will be open to the public daily starting Jan. 28 through March 28, from 3:00pm to 9:00pm at Industry City's Courtyard 1/2 at 220 36th Street.

Jessy Edwards

About the Author: Jessy Edwards

Jessy Edwards is an award-winning news and feature reporter whose work can be seen in such publications as NBC New York, Rolling Stone, the BBC, CNBC and more.
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