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‘+ Pool Light.’ A floating light art installation in NYC

+ POOL Light is a public art installation in NYC’s Harbor designed by PLAYLAB, INC. and Family New York in collaboration with Floating Point. The project visualizes the conditions of NYC’s waterways through a light installation and interactive website, posing the question: how’s the water today?

Installed at the Seaport District at Pier 17 in Lower Manhattan, the plus-shaped + POOL Light measures 50 x 50 feet, is constructed of LEDs, and floats in the East River as it continuously changes in color based on the condition of water, indicating when it’s great, or not so great for swimming.

The LED sculpture glows teal when pathogens are present in the water and predictive Enterococci levels are safe for swimming (below 35 CFU). It turns to pink when those levels exceed swimming standards. The sculpture also animates, changing its direction based on the flow of current (clockwise when flowing north, counterclockwise when flowing south). The brightness, frequency, and sharpness of the lights is reflected in oxygen, turbidity, and pH, respectively.

Free for the public to engage and enjoy, and viewable from a variety of geographic points in NYC–from the Brooklyn Waterfront to the Bridges connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan–the project offers the community a unique artistic lens through which to view their urban environment and raises awareness about the current state of our rivers.

Commissioned by Friends of + POOL, Inc.

Design: PLAYLAB, INC. & Family New York & Floating Point
Curator: Kara L. Meyer
Lighting Design, Hardware, and Software Engineering: Floating Point: Jack Kalish; Mark Kleback
Lighting Fabrication and Installation: Floating Point & Connected Future Labs
Lighting Structure Fabrication Support: Beam Center Apprentice Program
Engineering & Project Management: McLaren Engineering; Anand Agarwal, Alexander F. Haubrich, Ashleigh S. Campbell
Project Permitting: Sive Paget & Riesel, Mark Chertok; McLaren Engineering, Anand Agarwal, Kaitlyn McGrath
Construction: Derecktor: Tom Domotorffy
Project Mooring: Hazelett Marine: Todd Harris
Installation: Waterfront Contracting: Chad Walder
Anchoring: Helix Mooring Systems: Peter Morrison
Electrical Engineering: Windsor Electrical Contracting, Inc.: Andy Rambharose
Water Quality API Development: Reaktor Inc
Microbiology Early Warning ALERT Instrumentation: Fluidion; Dan Angelescu, Andreas Hausot and Joyce Wong
Lab Testing: Aaniyla Allen-Sutherland
Data Collection & Analysis: Columbia University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: Wade McGillis; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: Shawnee Traylor
Sonde Installation: Rob Buchanan, Wade McGillis, Haokai Zhao

+ POOL Light is made possible by the generous support of Heineken and The Howard Hughes Corporation and is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Special thanks to Beam Center and its students for working with us on this project and storing materials during permitting phases!

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