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?

Throughout the ages, we have attributed countless legends to the celestial phenomenon. Today we can replicate it. Dan Acher's BOREALIS is about our ancestral communion with nature and our more recent compulsion to control it. It’s about inspiring shared emotions in the center of a city by creating something magical – something that shouldn’t naturally be there.

In all of his work, Dan uses the city as a playground to create a sense of belonging and community. His installations create spaces where strangers come together and connect. The Northern and Southern Lights have long inspired awe and astonishment ; by recreating their majesty in urban skies, Dan allows city-dwellers to share emotions beyond their differences of origin, race, religion, status, age, gender identity, sexual orientation...

Climate is rapidly changing due to excessive human activity. New and unusual natural phenomena are occurring all around us. Will we start witnessing auroras appearing in cities around the world, far from the poles they currently inhabit? Or will controlling our environment become the new normal? Will we be able to artificially recreate all that we seek and need from nature – aesthetically, emotionally and in terms of natural resources?

Technology and Weather
BOREALIS is as much a work of art as it is a technological performance. Variations in movement, colour, and density of the light beams, together with changing weather conditions, give infinite variations. A unique aurora is created each time.

Guillaume Desbois' musical composition supports the installation, 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.

BOREALIS by Dan Acher has lit up the skies in: Australia (Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Surfer's Paradise), UK (Tower of London and Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich), France (Paris and Rennes), GermanyJapan, RomaniaBelgium and Switzerland (Lausanne and Geneva).

>>> Get in touch to see Dan Acher's BOREALIS dance above your city.

Music by Guillaume Desbois
Video by Progressive Pictures
Photos ©Cat On the Roof Studio / ©Jamani Caillet EPFL / @Joe Pepler / ©Pink_and_Ink_Photography


Zomer van Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium, August 2021
Greenwich & Docklands International Festival, London, UK, August 2021
Tombées de la nuit, Rennes, France, July 2021
Gluttony, Adelaide Fringe Festival
, Australia, February-March 2021
Silbersalz Science & Media Festival, Halle, Germany, Octobre 2020
Bega! Festival, Timisoara, Romania, Octobre 2020
Paris l’Été, Paris, France, July 2020
GLOW Festival, Surfers Paradise, Australia, August 2019
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (OSR), Geneva, Switzerland, July 2019
Perth Winter Fest, Australia, June 2019
Sydney, Australia, May 2019
Tower Of London, UK, April 2019
Adelaide Fringe Festival, Australia, February 2018
Tokyo, Japan, November 2017
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, November 2016

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