back to projects

Mixed reality "Polar Rainbow"

Polar Rainbow is a digital installation created in collaboration with Kristaps Ancāns and curated by Corina Apostol. It connects the North and South Poles, regions where rainbows cannot typically be seen. The installation is moved around the globe by the artist, finding temporary homes and signifying togetherness and equality. The project launched in Times Square, New York, on June 1, 2022. Spanning the 74W meridian from the North Pole to the South Pole and cutting directly through Times Square over 7th Avenue, this virtual double rainbow symbolizes solidarity with LGBTQIA+ communities worldwide.

Atmospheric optical phenomena such as rainbows, mirages, and coronas result from the interaction of light and matter in the atmosphere and are thus part of the physical environment of Earth’s ecosystems. Intrigued by the absence of rainbows at the North and South Poles, this project offers a virtual double rainbow spanning the two Poles. Polar Rainbow reaches out to communities under duress, advocating hope, empathy, togetherness and solidarity. It draws inspiration from the 1989 "Baltic Chain of Freedom", when around two million people from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania formed a human chain, spanning 430 miles across their countries' borders during the Soviet Union's dissolution. Polar Rainbow was launched in collaboration with Times Square Arts, Beyond Matter Project and domobaal.

Screenshot of the Polar Rainbow app on iOS
Screenshot of the Polar Rainbow app on iOS

Historically, human rights advocacy arose from diverse and multiple local contexts. Now, with technological advancements and supportive tools, we can seek to bring together both communities and individuals all over the world. Polar Rainbow has partnered with around 50 organisations so far worldwide. Addressing the isolation of millions is the primary motivation for this artwork, it serves as a beacon of hope where the use of rainbows are outlawed.

The project eschews physical materials and resources, focusing on actively encouraging participation by numerous individuals and groups. This project isn't a protest; it's a signal of hope and togetherness. Art serves as the conduit to foster intergenerational connections across all social divides, with monumentality manifested and activated through the unity of people rather than stone structures.

Polar Rainbow is produced in cooperation with Tallinn Art Hall, the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and the Latvian State Culture Capital Foundation.

Get the app from App Store and Google Play Store.

Screenshot of the Polar Rainbow app on iOS
Screenshot of the Polar Rainbow app on iOS


Times Square, New York & along the 74W Meridian

You can gaze at this realistic rainbow that reaches across Times Square this month

Untapped New York
“Polar Rainbow” Public Art Augmented Reality Project Stretches Over Times Square for Pride Month

New Jersey News
Polar Rainbow Comes to Times Square

New LGBTQ+ immersive art experience coming to Times Square in June

Times Square Chronicles
Polar Rainbow Comes To Times Square

Pride Events in New York City

Un arc-en-ciel au-dessus de nous

A Dazzling Polar Rainbow in Times Square Heralds an Event-Packed PRIDE Month

Playbill and Times Square Alliance to Celebrate Pride in Times Square

10 Bits: The Data News Hotlist

10 Colorful Art Installations Across New York City Honoring Pride Month

ARのレインボーアート出現 「根深い課題を思い起こさせる

Times Square Arts
Polar Rainbow

A virtual rainbow just above us!

Theatre Square, Warsaw & along the 21E Meridian:

Newsweek polska
Tęcza wraca do Warszawy. Ale tym razem nie spłonie

Radio Eska
Polar Rainbow w Warszawie - niezwykłą tęczę zobaczymy za pomocą smartfonów

Blok Magazine
Before and after the rainbow — Notes on Kristaps Ancāns’s digital sculpture, Polar Rainbow, in Warsaw

The Bęc Zmiana Foundation
Tęcza polarna / Polar Rainbow

LGL - National LGBT Organisation
Polar Rainbow, an Augmented Reality Experience Designed to Build Awareness Around Global LGBTQIA+ and Human Rights

Delfi Kultura
Mākslinieks Kristaps Ancāns radījis paplašinātās realitātes darbu 'Polārā varavīksne'

Latvijas Sabiedriskie Mediji
Paplašinātās realitātes mākslas darbā "Polārā varavīksne" savieno abus polus

Virs Liepājas vērojama digitālā skulptūra “Polārā varavīksne”

Przegląd Bałtycki
Tęcza polarna / Polar Rainbow

Curcubeul Polar, o experiență de realitate augmentată și drepturile omului

Bucharest & along the 26E Meridian line:

„Curcubeul polar” peste București, pentru conștientizarea drepturilor comunității LGBT. „Nicio politică n-ar trebui să fie împotriva fericirii oricărei ființe umane” Citeşte întreaga ştire: „Curcubeul polar” peste București, pentru conștientizarea drepturilor comunității LGBT. „Nicio politică n-ar trebui să fie împotriva fericirii oricărei ființe umane”

Despre experiența Curcubeului Polar: interviu cu artistul Kristaps Ancāns și curatoarea Corina L. Apostol

Kristaps Ancāns și Corina Apostol aduc un curcubeu virtual deasupra Bucureștiului

Curcubeul Polar, creat de artistul letono-britanic Kristaps Ancāns între antipozi

Echo Gone Wrong
‘Orchidelirium: An Appetite for Abundance’ at the Biennale Arte 2022

Radio Romania Cultural
Curcubeul Polar, o experiență de realitate augmentată concepută pentru a crește gradul de conștientizare asupra persoanelor și drepturilor LGBTQIA+

#PolarRainbow lucrarea artistului leton-britanic Kristaps Ancāns se va înălța peste Piața Constituției din București

Goethe Institute
Goethe Institute. Discussion about Polar Rainbow