Existing at the intersection of art and technology, The Aurora is a 29-foot-tall, 720-pound experiential sculpture in which both human interaction and weather factors create swirling patterns of color and light. The title of Lewin’s work references the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights—naturally occurring light phenomena that are visible in the northern sky during fall and winter months. Inspired by the beauty and complexity of these organic light forms, Lewin programmed her work to change color based on the weather in Minneapolis. Below The Aurora are eight platforms that respond to touch, encouraging visitors to actively participate in an ever-changing composition. Uniting nature, humanity, and technology, Lewin’s work underscores the dynamic interactions between people and environment.
The Aurora features hundreds of color palettes with over 10,000 interactive LEDs that are programmed to reflect the seasons and live weather conditions in Minneapolis. The artwork consists of 23,000 aluminum rings formed into a wispy, honeycomb-like structure that evokes the solar wind patterns that create the Aurora Borealis in real life. 2,667 hand-blown glass bulbs are attached to the structure, each with three light-emitting diodes inside.
The Aurora was completed in 2021 and was jointly commissioned by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) and the Airport Foundation MSP. A 16-member Blue Ribbon Artist Selection Panel chose Lewin for the project because of her extensive experience creating new media and interactive sculptures for public use and enjoyment.
Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) and the Airport Foundation MSP
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