Jen Lewin, Chandelier Harp, 2012. Artwork © Jen Lewin. Photograph by Aaron Rogosin, courtesy Jen Lewin Studio

Jen Lewin testing the Chandelier Harp (2012) in her studio, Brooklyn, NY, 2021

Jen Lewin with Edison Clouds. Artwork © Jen Lewin. Photograph by Chip Kalback, courtesy Jen Lewin Studio

Jen Lewin is an internationally recognized new media and interactive sculptor based in Brooklyn, New York. Over her 27-year career, Lewin has honed her architectural background and a highly technical medium to fabricate large-scale, interactive, public sculptures that encourage community interaction and play. Uniting nature and technology, Lewin thinks beyond traditional media to create connected human experiences that bring vibrancy to public spaces. Existing at the intersection of art, technology, and community, her sculptures underscore the ripple effects that each individual has on their community and habitat, the energy of human connection, and the power of collective action.

Lewin’s works have been featured at numerous events including the Takanawa Gateway Fest, Tokyo (2020); Istanbul Light Festival (2015); Vivid Sydney (2018, 2014); iLight Marina Bay, Singapore (2014); Signal Fest, Prague (2014); Burning Man, Black Rock City (2014, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, etc.); Biennial of the Americas, Denver (2013); and Gwangju Design Biennale (2007). She has had exhibitions across the globe, including at the Oklahoma Contemporary (2020); Hong Kong Arts Centre (2020); Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens (2020); Museum of Design, Atlanta (2018); and the University of Colorado Boulder Art Museum (2013); among others. Lewin has designed, developed, and installed permanent interactive sculptures worldwide, including the Jeju Pool, South Korea (2018); Promenade, Denver (2018); Sidewalk Harp, Minneapolis (2015); and Magical Harp, Palo Alto (2015), among others. She has collaborated with artists and designers, including working with Claes Oldenburg on Paint Torch (2011), now in the collection of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA); and with Lawrence Argent on Water Tree (2010), installed permanently in Vail, CO.

"Throughout history, people have worshiped the sun, the moon, and fire—seeing these illuminations as the life-force of our planet, and of our communities. Using custom-built technology and code, my work harnesses this energy, unifying the natural and artificial worlds."
Jen Lewin

Lewin writes, "There is an energy—a current—that travels through groups when they have shared experiences and build common understanding. When I started making tech-based art, I found that humans (and really all living things) love and inherently understand light. Throughout history, people have worshiped the sun, the moon, and fire—seeing these illuminations as the life-force of our planet, and of our communities. Using custom-built technology and code, my work harnesses this energy, unifying the natural and artificial worlds.

Growing up in Hawaii, I was profoundly influenced by how we experience nature, and hoped to share the beauty that was around me. Rather than adopt the usual two-way relationship between artist and viewer, I wanted my work to become a natural environment itself—to bring people together, even for a fleeting moment, through shared experience. At the time, there wasn’t a defined path for people who work at the intersection of art and technology, so I studied architecture. As my practice grew and I was able to test the tech and hardware I began to realize my dream of creating a light landscape that could travel the world, developing a program called HAWT (Have Art Will Travel).

Influenced by my experiences of art installations at Burning Man, the first work I developed was The Pool (2008), which could be installed temporarily while Leaving No Trace behind. Over the years, these “HAWT” sculptures have traveled across the world, and I have found overwhelmingly that people interact and play the same way. Studying these interactions, I discovered a parallel between human connections and mesh-network technology, which relies on individual components that can talk to each other via radio frequency. At once embodying the principles of Communal Effort and Radical Self-expression, I have incorporated collaborative aspects into every level of my sculptural work, demonstrating again how nature, instinct, and technology follow the same laws of nature."

Jen Lewin playing the Long Harp (2004), an early work from the Laser Harp series. Artwork © Jen Lewin. Video courtesy Jen Lewin Studio

The Chandelier Harp is an interactive instrument played by passing your body through low-voltage lasers that beam from the sculpture to the ground. Much like plucking the string of a harp, passing through a laser triggers custom circuitry and sensors to produce musical tones.

Lewin started building Laser Harps in the 1990s. Bringing together highly mathematical principles of music theory, she selected tones based on a pentatonic scale, which 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 you move beneath each sensor. Utilizing retro synthesizers from the late 1980s and early 1990s, she achieves an ethereal sound that connects your motions to your auditory, tactile, and visual senses. Just as people can trigger sensors on the Chandelier Harp, the sculpture simultaneously activates the human senses—initiating a flow of energy between the artworks and the participants.

The Chandelier Harp is part of Lewin’s HAWT (Have Art Will Travel) program, which seeks to create dynamic, participatory, public art experiences worldwide. Lewin’s traveling works provide an unprecedented level of interactivity and can transform the way we interact with art and each other.

Jen Lewin, Chandelier Harp, 2012. Artwork © Jen Lewin. Video courtesy Jen Lewin Studio

To learn more about Jen Lewin and see more of her work, please visit her website, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Exhibition History

The Chandelier Harp has been exhibited:

  • 2019: World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland
  • 2019: Converge, New York
  • 2019: Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • 2016: Top of the Town, Denver, CO
  • 2016: Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver, CO
  • 2015: Astana, Kazakhstan
  • 2015: CherryArts Festival, Denver, CO
  • 2015: Communikey, Boulder, CO
  • 2014: Luminosity, Lexington
  • 2013: Artsfest, Conway
  • 2012: Its Electric, Jen Lewin Retrospective, Boulder CO

The Chandelier Harp is part of Lewin’s HAWT (Have Art Will Travel) program, which seeks to create dynamic, participatory, public art experiences worldwide. Among other notable exhibitions, the Chandelier Harp was included in the 2019 Economic World Summit in Davos, Switzerland.


2021 Helix and Andante, Miami, FL (in production, installing June 2021) 2021 The Aurora, MSP International Airport, MN

2020 Magical Harp and Light Pools, Redwood City, CA 2020 Light Pools, Walnut Creek, CA

2020 Flow, ’Iolani School, Honolulu, HI

2019 Aushan’s Harp, Aurora, CO

2019 Euclid, Norwalk CT

2019 The Cloud, Norwalk, CT

2018 Ballston Flux, Forest City, Washington DC

2018 The Cloud, Tulsa, OK

2018 The Jeju Pool, Jeju Island, South Korea

2018 Promenade, Denver, CO

2017 Ascent, Coral Springs, FL

2017 Flux Chandelier, University of Akron, OH

2015 Mini Pool, Singapore

2015 Sidewalk Harp, Minneapolis, MN

2015 Magical Harp, Palo Alto, CA

2009 Wood Harp and Moth, National City, CA


2020 Black Rock City Honoraria: Cosmos

2017 Jing An Kerry Centre Artist in Residence

2017 Black Rock City Honoraria: Aqueous

2016 CODAawards Top 100 Projects 2016: Sidewalk Harp

2016 5280 Magazine Top of the Town: Best Artist Editor’s Choice

2016 Prequalified Artist, San Antonio Arts Commission

2016 Prequalified Artist, City of Palo Alto

2015 CODAvideo Merit Award: The Pool at AHA! Light Up Cleveland 2015 Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award: The Edison Cloud

2014 Burning Rock Arts Foundation Grant: Super Pool

2014 Rotational Molding Product Design Competition, 1st Place: Learning Gardens 2013 University of Central Arkansas Artist in Residence

2012 Burning Man Honorariums (2): The Pool and Arc Harp

2008 Burning Man Honorarium: The Pool

2005 Burning Man Honorarium: Arc Harp

1996 Presidents Fund for Teaching in Technology Research Grant: “The Ceren Project” 1996 CASI (Colorado Advanced Software Institute) Research Grant



• Bright Golden Haze, Oklahoma Contemporary: Aqueous


• Light Yards, Washington DC: The Pool • Enchanted Forest of Light, Los Angeles: Aqueous


• Georgetown GLOW, Washington DC:Aqueous

• Visual Arts Week, Mexico City: The Pool

• iLight Marina Bay, Singapore: The Pool

• Luminosity, Lexington: Chandelier Harp


• Chalk The Block, El Paso: The Pool

• Artsfest, Conway: The Pool and Chandelier Harp

• Converge, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn: Aqueous and Chandelier Harp


• University of Colorado, Museum: Arc Harp

• Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art


• Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art: Elevator


• Enchanted Forest, Descanso Gardens, Los Angeles: Aqueous

• Taikoo Li Sanlitun, Beijing: The Pool

• BLINK, Cincinnati: The Pool

• Burning Man, Black Rock City Honoraria:Aqueous

• Jing An Kerry Centre, Shanghai: The Pool

• Festival of Light, Jerusalem: The Pool

• Light City Baltimore:Reflect

• Green | Spaces, Chattanooga: The Pool

• Hong Kong Arts Festival: Super Pool

• Biennale of the Americas: Arc Lamps and The Pool

• Escape From Wonderland: The Pool

• EDC, Orlando, NYC, Chicago & Vegas: The Pool

• Solo Exhibition by Jen Lewin, CUAM: It’s Electric

• SXSW Eco Light Garden, Austin: The Pool


• La Napoule Art Foundation, Denver: Long Harp

• Burning Man, Honorarium Artist: Arc Harps


• New York University, ITP Gallery: Butterfly and Ribs



• Domino Park, Brooklyn: Reflect


• Festival of Light, Southampton: The Pool

• Takanawa Gateway Fest, Tokyo: Cosmos • Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center: Aqueous

• Hong Kong Arts Center: Aqueous


• World Economic Forum, Davos: Chandelier Harp

• Braze, New York City: Edison Cloud

• Detroit Symphony Orchestra: Chandelier Harp

• Momentum Festival, Toledo: Aqueous

• LIT, Huntsville: Aqueous

• Enchanted Forest of Light, Los Angeles: Aqueous

• Conservatory Aglow, Columbus: The Pool

• Luminaria, Salt Lake City: Aqueous

• Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens: The Pool


• Museum of Design, Atlanta: Aqueous

• Klanglicht, Graz: The Pool

• reCODE, Los Angeles: Aqueous

• Vivid Sydney: Aqueous

• Kapolei Commons, Maui: Aqueous

• George P. Johnson, Las Vegas: Aqueous

• B-Light, Manama: Aqueous

• Taipei: The Pool


• Enchanted Forest, Descanso Gardens, Los Angeles: The Pool

• 5280 Top of The Town, Denver:Chandelier Harp

• Arrow Arts Challenge, Denver: Nova

• Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver:Chandelier Harp

• Midtown Crossing, Omaha: The Pool

• WAVE, Breckenridge: The Pool

• NYCxDESIGN, New York: The Pool

• B-Light Festival, Manama: The Pool

• Mother of the Nation Festival, Abu Dhabi: The Pool

• Light City, Baltimore: The Pool

• iLight Marina Bay, Singapore: Light Walk

• SPECTRA, Aberdeen: The Pool

• Winter Lights @ Canary Wharf, London: The Pool


• Luna Fête, New Orleans: The Pool

• Istanbul Light Festival, Istanbul: The Pool

• igNIGHT, Fort McMurray: The Pool

• Burning Man: Super Pool

• Astana, Kazakhstan: Chandelier Harp

• Bonnaroo, Manchester: The Pool

• Summer in Paradise, West Palm Beach: The Pool

• CherryArts Festival, Denver: Chandelier Harp

• Montréal En Lumière, Montreal: The Pool

• Communikey, Boulder: Chandelier Harp


• Solo Exhibit, Warwick Arts Centre: The Pool

• Signal Festival, Prague: The Pool

• Art de Colombo, Lisbon: The Pool

• Burning Man, Honorarium Artist: Super Pool

• AHA! Light Up Cleveland: Double Pool

• Vivid Light, Sydney: The Pool

• The Museum of Outdoor Arts: Long Harp

• Electric Daisy Festival, Vegas & Dallas: The Pool • Colorado Ocean Coalition, Boulder: The Pool


• Montreal Balloon Festival: The Pool

• Electric Daisy Carnival, Dallas: The Pool • Electric Daisy Carnival, Denver: The Pool


• New Orleans Botanical Garden: Arc Harp

• VooDoo Festival, New Orleans: Arc Harp

• Tesla Store Opening Exhibit, Boulder: Long Harp

• Burning Man, Black Rock City: The Pool


• Burning Man, Honorarium Artist: The Pool

• Atlas Center Visiting Artist, Boulder: Moths


• GwangJu Design Biennale, South Korea: Long Harp

• Wired NextFest, Los Angeles: Long Harp

• Burning Man: Arc Harp

• Ingenuity, Cleveland: Arc Harp


• The Dairy Center for the Arts, Solo Show, Boulder

• Wired NextFest, New York: Arc Harp

• Burning Man Art Grant: Arc Harp


• Tiche Galla, Lincoln Center: Ribs

• Canal Convergence, Scottsdale: The Pool


Jeremiah Matthew Davis, Rand Elliot, and Jennifer Scanlan.Bright Golden Haze. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Contemporary, 2021. Exhibition catalogue.


Innovation & Tech Today “Art & Tech: Jen Lewin”

Curbed “Jen Lewin’s The Pool is Stealing the Show at Luna Fete”

Time Magazine “Dive In”

NBC News “Sustainable Art Glows Bright in Singapore”

BBC News Magazine “Jen Lewin: Artist dazzles with light-and-sound installations”

Smithsonian Magazine “Dive Into Jen Lewin’s Interactive Light Pool”

The Creators Project “Create Rippling Patterns Of Light With These Interactive Circles”

Daily Camera “People power Boulder artist’s interactive exhibit ‘It’s Electric’ “SXSW’s Maker Takeover Flashes, Then Fizzles”

WestWord “Jen Lewin: Light In Darkness”

Boulder Weekly “Jen Lewin: Art That Moves You”