Flow

Submitted by Jen Lewin Studio

3+

Client: 'Iolani School

Location: Honolulu, HI, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $135,000

Project Team

Artist

Jen Lewin

Jen Lewin Studio

Client

'Iolani School

'Iolani School

Overview

Flow is a sculpture designed to combine mathematical, musical, and dance principles into an interactive experience that activates multiple senses. When visitors move beneath the sensors on the bottom of each of its light tubes, they will trigger swirling LED lights that move up the tube as if pushed from beneath, while also playing a musical tone. Trained as a dancer, musician, and mathematician, Jen Lewin combines all of these disciplines in her visual work in an effort to create an immersive experience that highlights the interconnectivity between the human senses. Just as people can trigger sensors on Flow, the sculpture simultaneously triggers the human senses—initiating a “flow” of energy between the art object and the participants.

Bringing together highly mathematical principles of music theory, the tones are based loosely on a pentatonic scale, which is often found in traditional Chinese music and sounds as if it shifts fluidly between major and minor tonalities. Multiple layers of sound allow for both range and depth depending on the speed with which a person moves beneath each sensor.

Goals

Flow was meant to create a place for discovery, learning, and creativity for the children at 'Iolani School. Lewin's artistic goal was to bring together the arts of dance, music, and visual art into one experience that teaches participants that the lines between each discipline are blurred, and therefore ready for invention and growth.

Process

The Magical Harps are a series of sculptures designed to make play an inclusive experience for children and adults of all ability levels. The 'Iolani School approached Lewin having seen the Magical Harps, hoping that they could find a way to incorporate a dance and sound sculpture into their campus, adorning the wall outside their music and dance studios. Using technology developed for the harps and LED effects used in her Flux Chandeliers, Lewin developed a completely new body of work that incorporates vision, sight, touch, hearing, and motion into an immersive experience that encourages creativity for people of all ages.