Explora Borealis

(Boris, for short)


Short for Explora Borealis, Boris is an installation that evokes the beauty and color of the northern lights while inviting the viewer to come and explore it’s possibilities with a collection of functional buttons and dials. Play alone or with a friend; either way come inside and surround yourself with it’s glow as you find out what’s possible.

Boris was our first large installation and it is by far my proudest work yet. I have spent countless hours designing and re-designing the patterns and behaviors because I am so in love with this project. Where Boris stands apart from similar light projects is in the combinations of ways in which the user can manipulate the lights with their input and how the code can be ported over to anything with lights and a button. Boris is the first of many pieces that will incorporate this modular design, the second was created in time for Burning Man 2019 and is an illuminated umbrella.

For anyone interested in following development, you can view the source code online at my Github repository.

It takes a village

Boris was a team effort that included the efforts of a brilliant creator, Brock Wilmer of Emanate Designs, as well as more than fifteen other pairs of hands over the course of one month as we raced the clock to debut it at our local music festival. You could call the deadline ambitious if you wanted to be generous, but we managed to finish it with literal hours to spare. We had never attempted a project so large before, which goes to show how incredibly valuable it is to have a dedicated group of friends who are as excited as you are to create something for a small piece of the world to enjoy.