+ Pool Light, the floating installation by Playlab Inc & Family

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10 October 2019

+ Pool Light is the name of the Playlab Inc & Family installation that illuminates the East River of Manhattan to test the quality water.

+Pool Light is a public installation created by the PlayLab Inc &Family  team of NY and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. The work of art has the task of restoring in real-time the physical condition of the water off pier 17 of the East River of Manhattan.

The data collected is displayed on an online dashboard that indicates whether the current water conditions are safe for swimming or not.
The installation measures 50 x 50 feet (15 x 15 meters) and consists of a series of LED lights, arranged in such a way as to create a cross.

“The project recognizes the “+” sign as a symbol of positivity, indicating the positive steps we have taken to improve water quality since the Clean Water Act of 1972. Conceptually, it is also a symbol of inclusiveness because the water that surrounds us does not belong to a single group, but to everyone”.

+Pool Light is designed to inform the public about water conditions in an accessible and engaging way.

“We wanted to find a way to empower people with the data and visually engage them with what is happening in the water in front of them”.

A series of sensors, part of the Fluidion alarm system, connect to the installation to take water samples, analyze them and detect their levels of salinity, toxins and harmful pathogens. When the levels of Enterococci, a bacterium that Fluidion analyzes, are safe for swimming + Pool Light illuminates the teal, but if high levels of harmful pathogens are detected it turns pink, warning the public that it is not safe to enter the water.

The brightness, frequency, and sharpness of the lights indicate the levels of oxygen, turbidity and pH present in the river.
The sculpture also changes its direction according to the current flow, moving clockwise when the water flows north and counterclockwise when it flows south.

Pool Light will be on display in New York until January 4, 2020.

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