project title:

Harbor Fog  -  Surprised by pedestrians, now landlocked buoys dance and dream of Harbor Fog

user activated

responsive sculpture


Central Artery
Parcel 17

Rose Kennedy

Boston, MA


process staged
to follow site

2007 - 2009

Key Components

21 Granite seawall stones, discovered and salvaged from wharves uncovered during Central Artery construction, form a boat-shaped sculptural landscape with openings to invite one into he interior space.

3 buoy markers, built of stainless steel and naval bronze, inspired by Boston Harbor navigational buoys.

12 motions sensors - ultrasonic sensors used for industrial control systems and additional infrared and microwave sensors cue fog, light and sound.

72 high pressure water fog nozzles used in the industrial cooling industry.

12 color Blast LED fixtures,provide over 16.7 million colors,controlled by IP addressable digital sequencer.

DIgital data processor, timers, astronomical clock, control software, to interpret pedestrian motion and control system response.

Digital sound, provides on the hour bells and sound sequences cued by motion sensors .

Interactive artwork located along the harbor side pedestrian walkway of Greenway Parcel 17, between the Aquarium and Rowes Wharf.

Granite seawall stones, salvaged from nearby piers, form a boat-shaped sculptural landscape with openings to invite pedestrians into an interior space. Here three vertical sculptural beacons, inspired by Boston Harbor navigational buoys, contain multiple fog nozzles, LED light sources, and a sound system.

Motion sensors at the top of the sculptures respond to pedestrian activity to initiate changing patterns of fog mist and light. Gusts of wind redirect the fog, colors change with seasons and ambient light conditions. Pedestrian activity, picked up by multiple motion sensors, creates changing effects that encourage people to move, explore and play with the sculptural buoy elements.

During warmer months the evening fog is illuminated by changing color progressions of LED light. In winter, with the fog turned off, light sparkles from within and projects out from the stainless steel beacon sculptures. In stormy weather light projecting from the sculptures projects patterns on snow-covered landscape.

Fog and lighting systems are industrial components designed for low maintenance and long operational life. Annual operation of the Harbor Fog water system follows seasonal schedule for park irrigation maintenance. The lighting and motion control systems operate throughout the year.

Concept and design by artist Ross Miller over a three year period with support for the Central Artery/Tunnel Project and Mass Turnpike Authority. Over 85 people have been evolved in the realization of this project: mechanical and electrical engineers, site construction workers, union tradespeople, steel fabricators and installers, digital and 3d model makers and management staff.

Project Team

Ross Miller,  Project Artist - concept, design development &
                     details, shop drawings, fabrication & on-site    
                     installation direction

Project concept development began in the spring of 2005; site landscape work May - September, 2007; water system elements installed September - October, 2008; electrical sensors & programming April - May, 2009.

May individuals have contributed expertise and energy to the realization of this project, following is a partial listing:

(in approximate order of appearance)

Fred Yalouris  - Arch & Urban Design, MHD

Genaise Gonzalez - MHD Assistant

Wharf District Task Force

Steve Anderson - Authorized Rep. B/PB

Bob Masys  - Assistant PE, CA/T

Dennis Carmichael - Site LA, EDAW

Kristi Farnsworth - Site LA, EDAW

John Powell - Lighting Engineer, Parsons Brinkerhoff

John Calnan - Senior Engineer, FST

Drew Simmons - Electrical Engineering

Bob Redfern - FCN Plumbing Engineer

John Copley - Landscape Architect

Sean Sanger  - Landscape documents

Steve Sailing - Site details and specs

Luba Bezverkhny - plumbing specification

Brian Blethen - CA/T Accounting

Beatrice Ward - Models, large and small

David Brosnan - Structural Integrity Engineering Group

Ann Gorczyca - PE, Manager of Park Construction, MHD

Scott Wilson - site Installation, MHD

Dan Mullaly - MHD, site electrician, MHD

Mario Mazzeo - site plumbing, MHD

John Pagani - CA/T PE

Mike Flynn - Parcel 17 PE

Jim Barrett, CA/T

Kurt Maley - Fabrication Guru

Steve Baez - Fabrication Lead

Greg - Machine tool programming

Sam Wainwright - CAD Visualization

Ted Farnham - Lighting tech assistance

John Melillo - Color Kinetics

Andrew Hutcheson -  CAD site visualization

Ross Peterson - Spray Systems / Industries

Ajay Dighe - Spray Systems / Industries

Kevin Randall - Manifold CAD

Paul DeRocher - Control Systems, programming & site work
Chris Souza - ALPS lighting & control systems


Location along downtown Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway

motion sensor system

digital control circuits in above ground electrical cabinet

site electrical layout draft

Fog nozzles in lower manifold cube, LED lighting behind louvers in trapezoid form made of stainless steel & naval bronze

just at dusk, the best time to take urban site photos

watercolor by Frank M Constantino


during final design process cardboard on site mock-up