Client: Port of Portland
Location: Portland, OR, United States
Completion date: 2018
Portaurora is an interactive artwork created for two existing 15' x 15' ceiling bays within concourse D, which serves international departures and arrivals to Portland. When travelers enter Portaurora, their movement triggers a wash of colors above them, creating an effect inspired by the northern lights. The piece is made of custom software and electronics, LEDs, IR sensors, and glitter.
TRAVEL LEISURE regularly ranks PDX the best airport in the United States, yet this stretch of concourse D lacked an element that distinguished it from hundreds of other terminals around the country. The Port of Portland asked Sticky to create a work that would transform traveler's experience as they moved through the concourse, while fitting within the existing space and not inhibiting the flow of travel. Portaurora welcomes each traveler by making their presence an essential part of this dynamically changing artwork.
After initial meetings in which we shared the inspiration of the aurora borealis with the client, Sticky worked in studio to mock up the project and hone how to deploy the software, electronics, lights, and sensors to create the most enchanting experience for travelers. Although this is mostly a technology-driven project, we added a simple element – applying glitter to the ceiling – to enhance the aurora borealis effect. Installation at the concourse was able to be done fairly quickly, to minimize any impact on travel.
We knew we had achieved our client's and our goals when, moments after the work went live, our team noticed a woman leaping through the air under Portaurora to activate as many different color washes as she could. Sticky is honored to have Portaurora included in the permanent collection at PDX, putting our work on view to visitors from around the world. One of the pleasures of creating a piece like this is getting to see how strangers interact with it, something we can observe whenever our own travels begin or end at PDX. http://sticky.tv/projects/portaurora