simulating the movement of the sun, moon and stars

solarA 28 x 24 ft. frameless LED wall, in the middle of Lincoln Center, is a showstopper.  I dare anyone to walk by it, without at least, casually engaging with the image, which constantly changes within a 24-hour period.  This wall has a name, Solar Reserve.  It is the work of Irish artist, John Gerard.  Gerard and a group of modelers and programmers created a computerized simulation of a power plant in Nevada, but not just any generating station. This powerhouse is a “solar thermal power tower, surrounded by 10,000 mirrors that reflect sunlight upon it to heat molten salts, essentially forming a thermal battery, which is used to generate electricity.”

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This is a pretty heady concept, which is explained on a sign next to the wall.  From a visual perspective, the intricacies of the science don’t really matter.  Standing in front of the image, even for five minutes, you notice the screen has changed.  These alterations are due to a changing point of view:  from ground level to satellite every 60 minutes.

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“I want to cut a hole into this scene and put a world in,” Mr. Gerard said, “An alternate universe.” from Wall Street Journal Online.

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Living not far from Lincoln Center, when walking downtown, I’ve made the wall part of routine.

October 3 – December 1, 2014


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