J. Meejin Yoon: Light Drift

Installed: May 7 & 8, 2011
Location: Charles River
Join the activities from 7–10 pm!

Light Drift is an interactive lighting installation that will appear along the Memorial Drive side of the Charles River and draw viewers into a playful engagement with the artwork, the river’s edge and one another. Ninety brightly glowing orbs in the river will change color as they react to the presence of people along the shore.

The lighting elements are shaped like orbs or buoys and are equipped with electronics that allow them to respond to a viewer and to communicate with each other. The orbs on land use sensors to detect the presence of a person and relay a radio signal to the corresponding orbs in the water, allowing visitors to transform the array of orbs in the river. As viewers engage the orbs, the grid of lights in the water becomes an index of the activities on land. Multiple viewers can create intersections of linear patterns, encouraging viewers to “play” with each other. These orbs bring the community together by providing gathering spaces to watch the river turn into a flickering constellation of a field of lights and creating new connections on the river’s edge.

Funded in part by a grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT.

FAST Future Forum on the Arts: J. Meejin Yoon on Light Drift





Curator of Installations for FAST, Creator of Wind Screen and Light Drift 
FAST Future: New Architecture
Winter/Spring 2011J. J. Meejin Yoon is Associate Professor of Architecture at MIT, teaching the architecture design studios. Her design research investigates the relationship between form and performance, public space and technology, and interactivity and architecture. As the founder of MY Studio and co-founder of Höweler + Yoon Architecture, she is engaged in a multidisciplinary practice, operating in the space between architecture, art, and landscape. Her projects include architecture, urban design, installations, concept clothing and artist books. Among her more prominent design projects are: White Noise White Light (an interactive public space installation for the Athens 2004 Olympics), the 3 Degrees of Felt (for the Aztec Empire Exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum), and Hover (a solar-powered canopy in New Orleans). Her designs have been exhibited at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper-Hewitt, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum, the Somerset House in London, and Tokyo’s National Art Center. Her many design awards include Architectural Record‘s Design Vanguard and the Rome Prize.