Art Installation Brings Northern Lights to Cities All Over the World


A Swiss artist, Dan Acher’s new project “Borealis” provides a laser-light art installation that could bring artificial northern lights to cities all over the world.

Dan Acher brings an artificial Northern Lights experience to the world, using high-powered blue and green laser beams in the night sky.

Variations in cloud shapes and densities, as well as other weather conditions including wind speed, wind direction would keep the effect of the lasers mesmerizingly unpredictable.


The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis used to be a difficult sight to see, available only in the upper parts of the Northern Hemisphere, in places with little cloud density and light pollution.

Dan Acher’s recreation of the phenomenon will help people get a glimpse without the patience required to see them naturally. This installation can help recreate it, anywhere in the world for millions to see.

Acher’s art aims to create public experiences that stop people from their daily routines. Last year, Acher installed a “giant light switch” in Geneva that, when pressed, projects a giant eyeball onto a building nearby.

For his Borealis project, he will project the blue and green lights from the top of a building into the entire night sky above the Swiss city of Lausanne.

Dan says Borealis is about “our ancestral communion with nature and about our recent compulsion to control it.”

His project premiered in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology last month to commemorate the opening of the new ArtLab building at the university. “People stopped in their tracks, in awe. Voices went quiet and, somehow, under this expanse covered by the lights, people would gather and create small groups to live this experience together,” Dan Acher says.

“It’s all about our ancestral communion with nature and our recent compulsion to control it.”