New Yorkers walking by the East River may soon notice something unusual: floating LED lights in the shape of a giant plus sign.
The setup, called +Pool Light, is a months-long public art installation meant to educate the public about water quality.
At first glance, the floating sculpture just looks like a bunch of pretty lights. But there’s actually some sophisticated tech behind the installation.
The lights glow different colors based on the current water conditions. Blue lights mean the water is safe for swimming, while pink lights mean that pathogen levels have risen to unsafe numbers. Additionally, the lights change in “brightness, frequency, and sharpness,” based on oxygen levels, turbidity, and pH.
Its creators, Playlab Inc. and Family New York, say the goal of the piece is to help educate the public about the cleanliness of the water surrounding them. “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,” they explain.
Besides the floating sculpture, they are also collecting real-time data on the water conditions in an online dashboard. The sculpture will be in place until January 3.
The installation is an offshoot of +Pool, a long-running project that aims to create a floating public pool in the East River.