The Last Ocean
On display November 4–13, 2022
New York City, New York
The Last Ocean is an immersive experience made possible by Jen Lewin’s pioneering, in-house mesh network LED technology, composed of interactive platforms constructed from reclaimed and recycled ocean plastic. For Canal Convergence, Jen Lewin Studio designed the platform layout in shapes specific to its location at the Scottsdale Waterfront that slowly dissipate—from an intact center to fewer clusters of platforms at the edges—conveying the integrity of an ecosystem deteriorating over time.
In daylight, The Last Ocean platforms swirl with evanescent blue and white particulate, highlighting how plastic destined for waste can transform into something animate and inspirational. At night, against the darkness, The Last Ocean glows with a vibrant, oscillating brightness that cycles through a complex palette of curated colors, programmed to change as people walk on the platforms, interacting with the work. Surrounded by splashes of light, participants can dance and play amid whirling creative patterns that mesmerize us the way light naturally does when it slows to bend and branch through water.
“Imagine an expansive landscape of interactive platforms created from reclaimed ocean plastic, evocative of a luminescent ice field composed of beautiful, interactive, geometric tessellations. This exhibit brings the vanishing natural wonders of the ocean to communities to inspire conversation.” — Jen Lewin
Jen Lewin is an internationally recognized new media and interactive sculptor based in Brooklyn, New York. Over her 25-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 received her bachelor of arts in architecture and computer aided design from the University of Colorado Boulder, and her master of professional studies in interactive design from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
Lewin’s works have been featured in numerous exhibitions and events, including Bright Golden Haze, Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, Oklahoma City (2020); Takanawa Gateway Fest, Tokyo (2020); Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens (2020); Enchanted Forest of Light, Descanso Gardens, Los Angeles (2017, 2019); Converge, Pioneer Works, New York City (2019); Vivid: Sydney, Australia (2018, 2004); Istanbul Light Festival (2015); iLight Marina Bay, Singapore (2014); Signal Fest, Prague (2014); Burning Man, Black Rock City (2018, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2005); Biennial of the Americas, Denver (2013); and Gwangju Design Biennial (2007). Lewin has installed permanent sculptures worldwide, including the The Aurora, Minneapolis (2021); 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, and with Lawrence Argent on Water Tree (2010), installed permanently in Vail, Colorado.
Jen Lewin Studio was invited to participate in this year’s Canal Convergence as a returning artist in celebration of our 10th anniversary. Lewin first exhibited at Canal Convergence in 2015 with The Pool.