* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Jen Lewin is an internationally renowned light and interactive sculptor based out of New York City. Over the last 15 years, Lewin has honed her highly technical medium to fabricate large-scale interactive sculptures that combine light, sound, and motion to encourage community interaction. From responsive sound and light forms that incorporate dance, to woven video curtains that reflect movement, to giant robotic moths that flutter in response to human touch, Lewin’s use of technology as a medium challenges popular conceptions of new media works and their limitations. Focusing on pieces made for public use, she thinks beyond a traditional art exhibition to create an experience that brings vibrancy to neighborhoods, parks, and public spaces. At once organic and electronic, Jen Lewin’s playful sculptures leave viewers enchanted and surprised while encouraging delight through their engagement with the work. In this sense, visitors to Jen Lewin’s works become artists themselves.
Jen explains her work by saying, “My intention is always to create beautiful objects that bring the community together. I take inspiration from nature to create organic forms that reflect local geography. I often use light and sound in my work, I find that these elements naturally engage people. This engagement is a driving force in all of my work. There is a current that travels through people when they are together, experiencing. Using this current, I endeavor to transport the audience to a memory of feeling connected, safe and loved. Through the art and technology, learning and play – these interactions are as valued to me as the art itself. I install interactive pieces in spaces where people are naturally gathering and creating a smart, social space for the community to strengthen relationships. Placing something interactive in a well-traveled and familiar area takes people by surprise and encourages a moment of play, leading to a profound contextual, connected community response in the space. I find that with a slight nudge, people start to engage not only with the art but with each other as well. I have a desire to engage the community not just through my installations, but also with the powerful technology that drives them. I’ve developed a system that uses custom, stand-alone hardware and software to create complex, robust, interactive works with longevity; this technical process is just as important as the creative. My use of technology as a medium often challenges popular conceptions.”