“Nia” — A Neurological Light Experience
Nia is an interactive art installation planned for future production. A dual-sided wooden lightbox sculpture, it represents the body’s most complex organ—the human brain. Its exterior will consist of hundreds of addressable LEDs for mind-bending nighttime viewing, with patterns partially-directed by passersby from a seated section meant to depict the
The name itself, Nia, translates to mean a “bright purpose”, combining Irish and Swahili influences. Our own bright purpose in building and sharing Nia is to raise awareness of neurological illness and wellness, specifically dystonia, the third most common movement disorder in North America.
The sculpture will be 12′ wide x 10′ long x 8′ tall and secured on a steel base plate. Using clever engineering, an audience is able to walk through the structure, where artistic depictions of the human brain’s many mini-miracles will inspire and educate attendees on topics related to neurological health and function. In addition, artists and participants will have space to paint, draw, or write relevant and inspirational messages in the interior of the structure.
Two antenna posts on either side will pulse white light, stimulating the subthalamic nucleus and mimicking the effect of deep brain stimulation (DBS), a surgical operation that Devin McClernan, founder of Down with Dystonia, underwent in 2008 to treat dystonia. For daytime appreciation, Nia will be painted with a dramatic representation of the complex organ itself.
Day or night, Nia provides a uniquely alluring photo op and gathering space to any space. Down with Dystonia has partnered with Stone Design and Charles Dusastre, creator of the popular Vibe Apple installation, to help make this dream a reality.
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