The Northern Lights experience. Anywhere and anytime. This mesmerising installation brings the experience of the Northern Lights to cities the world over. Time slows down as eyes look up. An aurora, here and now, in our latitudes?

“I was interested in finding out what triggers a feeling of awe in people, of experiencing something bigger than themselves and from which would arise a sense of connection. And something that kept coming up was what people felt while experiencing the Northern Lights: astonishment, awe, humbling.

I wondered what percentage of the world population has the opportunity to experience the Northern Lights in their lifetime - and this percentage is close to zero.

Then came the question: would I be able to create something that looks and feels like the Northern lights, anywhere around the world? That’s how BOREALIS was born.

The idea is to create a moment of shared emotions in the center of a city. Creating something magical, that shouldn’t by all rights be there. A situation where people share the same experience, beyond their differences. Beyond age, ability, status, origin, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation - we are all feeling the same emotion.”

Dan Acher's creation is as much a work of art as it is a technological performance. High power laser beams travel through particle clouds to create the illusion. Variations in movement, colour, and density, together with changing weather conditions, give infinite variations. A unique aurora is created each time.

Throughout the ages man has attributed countless legends to the phenomenon. BOREALIS is about our ancestral communion with nature and about our recent compulsion to control it.

OXSA's musical composition supports this monumental piece, premiered over the Rolex Learning Centre at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology to mark the opening of the new ArtLab building in November 2016.

Music by OXSA
Video by Progressive Pictures
Pictures: © Cat On the Roof Studio / ©Jamani Caillet EPFL


Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, November 2016
Tokyo, Japan- November 2017
Adelaide Fringe Festival, Australia, February 2018
Tower Of London, UK, April 2019
Perth Winter Fest, Australia, June 2019
Geneva, Switzerland, July 2019
GLOW Festival, Surfers Paradise, Australia, August 2019

Happy City Lab - 50 rue Rothschild - 1202 Geneva - Switzerland