Let There Be Light - Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)

Let There Be Light - Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
Author: 
Staff
Published in: 
March-April
2021

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) has its very own slice of the Northern Lights, and it’s a doozy.

The Aurora is an interactive light sculpture by new media artist Jen Lewin that spirals down from the ticketing lobby of Terminal 1, through an opening in the floor, to the baggage claim area on the ground floor. Named for the aurora borealis, the 29-foot-tall, 740-pound sculpture combines artistry and engineering to celebrate the colorful lights that periodically appear in Minnesota’s northern sky.

The honeycombed helix form, inspired by wind patterns, is covered in hand-blown bulbs with more than 8,000 LEDs, which receive real-time weather data that makes them change color and intensity as the local weather changes. Beneath the hanging sculpture, glass platforms on the floor of the baggage claim area loosely depict eight of the many lakes in the Twin Cities area. When airport visitors stand or move on the platforms, they trigger light and color changes on the floor, and wisps of color and light migrate up through The Aurora. By encouraging guests to interact with the artwork, Lewin underscores the dynamic connections between people, technology and nature.

The new signature piece for Terminal 1 took months to install. Time-lapse videos that show crews cutting an opening in the floor and hoisting the massive metal and glass sculpture into place are available on the airport’s social media channels. Search “MSP airport art” on YouTube and “arts at MSP” on Instagram.

Subcategory: 
Artscapes

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