+ POOL Light – art installation in New York’s East River

18th October, 2019

As part of the campaign to raise awareness about the state of the USA’s waterways, non-profit organisation + POOL has created a new public art installation that illuminates the physical conditions of the East River in real-time.

The project, which runs until 3 January 2020, visualises the water quality and conditions through a light installation and interactive website

The LED sculpture changes colour in response to the presence of pathogens in the water, with the brightness, frequency and sharpness of the lights responding to oxygen, turbidity, and pH levels respectively. The sculpture also animates, changing its direction based on the flow of current.

It uses the same water testing system used by the city of Paris for swimming in its canals.

+ POOL’s long-term ambition is to bring swimming back to New York’s rivers, by building a water-filtering, floating swimming pool.

+ POOL Light designer, Oana Stanescu said: “We’ve found that many New Yorkers have a negative perception of the rivers around New York City, so much so that we tend to forget about our waterways, not taking them into consideration when it comes to considering possible lifestyles.

“A major goal is to physically demonstrate to New Yorkers that the water is not as bad as people might think a majority of the time, and when it is, to explain what is happening. Understanding the waterways is the first step in reclaiming them, for us as much as for future generations.”

Find out more about + POOL Light project.

Justine Harvey