Even as the number of New York’s reported Covid cases appears to be easing up again in this, our second (third?) pandemic winter, we’re still constantly on the lookout for fun things to do outside. Enter, once again, Industry City, where this weekend the Brooklyn-based artist and engineer Jen Lewin switched on the latest iteration of her public art sensation, “The Pool,” which she first created for Burning Man in 2008 and has been touring the world within one form or another ever since.
“The Pool is an interactive play sculpture that’s designed to engage a large group,” says Lewin, who creates and engineers all of her work out of a studio in Vinegar Hill. “It lights up based on how you move around it, with lights swirling under your feet, and there are certain platforms that will change other platforms.” Visitors stride, or leap, from platform to platform—there are about 70 in all, laid out in three concentric circles—triggering different color and light effects as you go.
Kids are instantly delighted by the piece, of course, jumping around and having a blast even before it gets dark and the Pool really comes alive (Lewin’s version in Domino Park last spring, called “Reflect,” was very popular during the day), but adults shouldn’t just sit on the sidelines. There’s something deeply satisfying about receiving such instant sensory feedback to your steps. “It’s exciting to install something outside that can be engaging through the winter months,” says Lewin.
The origin story of The Pool is pretty cool too. “I was camping in Western Australia in an area that’s about a 13-hour drive from Perth, and there were tidal pools, hundreds of tidal pools, on this long, very flat beach,” says Lewin. “The moon came out and was reflecting in all those pools, and I started imagining how I could recreate the feeling of splashing and playing and jumping around in those puddles of light.”
If you get too cold in Sunset Park pretending you’re on a beach in remote Australia, you can always grab a seat by the roaring fire pit nearby. And don’t sleep on all the dining options at Industry City these days: a motherlode of winning options, including an outpost of Red Hook’s legendary Hometown Bar-B-Que, a massive Sahadi’s, the all-vegan Renegades of Sunset, everything at Japan Village, the old-school Burger Joint, and Ejen’s Korean comfort food. All offer indoor seating of some sort, but you can always bring whatever you want outside.
*This is an article from Brooklyn Magazine published on January 31, 2022; See the original article here.