Laser Installation Spans 35 Miles of New York as Beacon of Hope in the Aftermath of Sandy

By - Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

The stream of rainbow-colored light that could be found in New York’s cloudy sky last night was no commercial marketing campaign. The laser beam, entitled Global Rainbow, After the Storm, was created by artist Yvette Mattern as a call to action to support the areas that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The piece, spanning 35 miles from its origin atop The Standard, High Line, a hotel on the Lower West Side of Manhattan, extends into both Brooklyn and Queens. The Global Rainbow has been installed in various places all over Europe, but the artist had a special reason for wanting it to be in New York. She comments, “I hope that seeing this beacon in the night sky will provide people with a sense of peace and security in this time of crisis and that it will unify us with its presence so we remember that we are all in this together, regardless of divisions of class, race, religion and culture.” Dedicated to supporting public art projects, the Art Production Fund (APF) and The Standard, High Line are thrilled to be presenting the piece. Their backing, combined with Lightwave International’s donation of high specification equipment, enabled the project to take place. Despite the incredible range of the laser beams, they actually use minimal power – a sensitive subject for many New Yorkers right now who only recently got theirs back. Amazingly, the lasers use just 24 amps (the equivalent of 2 hair dryers) worth of power. The presentation also coincides with a fundraising initiative that encourages the financial support for two major relief organizations that have been instrumental in assisting victims of Hurricane Sandy. Both Waves for Water and the New York Foundation for the Arts have emergency relief funds, to which you can donate at their respective websites. Only in New York for a limited time, be sure to check out the rainbow either tonight (11/28) or tomorrow night (11/29), from 8 pm to 2 am. Text: Nicola Parisi Photo: Drew Anthony Smith/Fast Company

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