The Aurora Borealis Lights Up NYC

The Aurora Borealis Lights Up NYC

A new LED installation by artist Anne Militello is installed at the Brookfield Place World Financial Center.

Laura Feinstein
  • 6 february 2013

Want to see the aurora borealis but can’t afford the flight to the arctic? Well have no fear, artist Anne Militello is bringing the lovely luminescence of the north right here to NYC with her newest piece Light Cycles. Created for a scenic 10-story glass atrium at Winter Garden at the Brookfield Place World Financial Center, the LED-powered visual installation was unveiled January 22 to a glittering scene overlooking the Hudson river.

An internationally renowned lighting artist and veteran theater designer, Militello is also know for her  revamped facade of the New 42nd Street Studios. Though slightly less prominent, this new project intends to mimic the aurora borealis through a series of “twinkling stars and fields of gemstones” that have been put in place inside the atrium.

Light Cycle by Anne Militello Rainbow

In order to build this florescent eye-feast, the artist hung numerous large discs of reflective material from the rafters of the atrium, lining each disk with programmable color-changing LEDs. From here, the light is then diffused through only the outward facing surface of the discs. Basically, to get the best view, it’s actually better to be outside in the dark.

Light Cycle by Anne Militello Side View

If you’re curious about the artist herself, Anne Militello received the prestigious OBIE Award for sustained excellence in lighting design, and her illustrious credits include Christopher Alden‘s production of The Flying Dutchman for Canadian Opera Company, concert tours for Tom Waits, Robert Plant, Leonard Cohen and Pearl Jam. For those not thoroughly wowed already by her CV, Militello has also worked on and off Broadway on collaborations with Sam Shepard and David Lynch.

The display will be on view through March, so be sure to catch it if you’re heading through NYC this spring. Admission is free to the public.

Light Cycles by Anne Militello


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