3rd Place Mention for LAGI 2012: PIVOT

Artist Team: Yunxin Hu and Ben Smith
Artist Location: Atlanta, USA
Energy Technologies: Piezoelectric disks and fabric
Annual Capacity: 1,200 MWh

View Design Boards

Artist Descriptive Text:

Central to Freshkills’ future is the fluctuating nature of its two key conditions—the gradual sinking of its landfill and rising of its surrounding sea level—making our challenge how to transform these potential problems into opportunities for land art. PIVOT answers with two intertwining operations: a floating ‘terra nova’ constructed at the moving line between these conditions that frame it while replacing lost terrain; and a gathering of the human and wind energies flowing along ‘the Kill/Confluence.’

01. as landscape relations
adjective, turning on as if on a pivot
At Freshkills Park the edge between land and water is significant as the ‘pivot’ on which these two environments hinge. The edge is home to many plant and animal species which adapt to life both in water and on land. Not unlike these species, PIVOT resides at the edge. It links with the proposed trail system on land, and opens to the water through boat launches. As sea levels rise our land art work will adapt to its environment and continue to perform.

02. as movement relations
verb, to cause to pivot/to turn on or as if on a pivot
Visitors discover PIVOT to be a series of moving orders within a landscape that in turn cause reciprocal pivoting movements. The body is activated as the engaged visitor moves beneath the billowing, orange canopy, down one of the gangplanks, and along the series of floating docks. The up and down movements of visitors oscillate with the ebb and flow of the river.

03. as mechanical relations
noun, a shaft or pin on which something turns
PIVOT consists of a floating metal mesh platform on aluminum pontoons and a piezoelectric canopy structure. Both systems tie into the land through small concrete foundations and pivot around wooden piles sunken into the river bed. The canopy is a prototype for clean energy generation which captures wind energy through fluttering piezoelectric fabric and flexing piezoelectric support ribs. These technologies do exist, but are nascent in their development. We predict that with more development it would be possible to generate 1,200 MWh of clean electricity annually to be used in surrounding homes.

04. as temporal relations
adjective, pivotal, vitally important
PIVOT engages people poetically by illuminating the canopy through tidal detectors at dawn and twilight. Also, it enhances people’s environmental awareness through tick-marks on the wooden piers which highlight the global issue of rising sea levels. PIVOT situates itself between past and future paradigms and proposes a shift in this critical time in history.