Large, color-changing spheres that react to your movement and clothing color will emerge this winter from the cobblestones in the Seaport District.
The 10-foot-tall globes will be equipped with lighting technology and surrounded by thermal cameras that’ll capture your movement from video cameras, both high and at street level. The cameras will send information, such as what color you’re wearing, to the spheres, allowing them to glow based on how close or far away from them you are.
“Sea of Light,” as it’s been dubbed, will be set up by Dec. 5 and remain on display until March, according to Alexander Green, the artist behind the installation. Green, the founder of Symmetry Labs, created the project as a part of The Howard Hughes Corporation’s revitalization of the Seaport District.
“I really want people to feel a sense of wonder from my work and engage the community so people would want to visit the Seaport regularly,” he said. “I wanted something surprising and engaging that would change throughout the year.”
The undertaking was complex as each sphere, which resembles a star or sun “or maybe undersea creatures from another world,” is made out of large 10-by-10 sheets of acrylic, Green said. There is only one company in the entire country that creates such large pieces and the company had never molded them into spheres before, Green said. Even so, it was important to use acrylic so that the light could shine adequately through and provide the interactivity he wanted.
“I think that a lot of modern art has gotten a little bit too intellectual and self-referential,” Green said. “It was a conscious decision to avoid that. We want people to feel a sense of wonder and curiosity. The community, too, can play with each other and interact in ways they might not do otherwise in a public space.”
The Seaport provides the perfect space as it reminds you where the city came from and where it’s going, he said.
The 32-year-old has done other interactive projects with his studio, including a psychedelic color-changing tree at Burning Man this year, and others for Superbowl Village, the Panorama Music Festival and Refinery 29.
Those who turn out to the free “Sea of Light” opening will be treated to live music, food and drink from local businesses, including mulled wine and hot chocolate, and a free blanket and light-up Xyloband.
RSVP online for the event, which takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 outside 19 Fulton St.