Balance | Imbalance
Submission to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition
Artist Team: Hideaki Nishimura
Artist Location: Tokyo, Japan
Energy Technologies: Buoy-type wave converter with Electroactive Polymer Artificial Muscle (EPAM by SRI International and Bayer Material Science), Sphelar® photovoltaic, piezoelectric films.
BALANCE | IMBALANCE generates energy from wave, wind, and human activities. The design site is interpreted as an intersecting area between land and ocean, human and nature. The main concept of this kinetic sculpture is to demonstrate the beauty of balance and imbalance between contradicting entities.
The artwork has two arms with buoys suspended at the ocean side. The movement of the attached weight elongates and contracts Electroactive Polymer Artificial Muscle (EPAM). The expansion and contraction of this artificial muscle generates electricity, reversing the process through which natural muscles expand and contract when stimulated by electricity.
Spherical solar devices are installed at the landside as an integral part of the counterweight system.
In addition to these two primary devices, piezoelectric generators are installed at each joint within the system to convert the internal forces of compression and tension into electricity as the balance sways in conjunction with wave and wind motion. The same action is also made from the landside where visitors can activate this energy-harvesting system by making use of the attached furniture, such as seesaws and hammocks. The more interaction there is between people and the artwork, the greater the amount of electricity that is produced.
A small portion of the energy produced goes toward lighting the site at night. The intensity of the LED lighting will shift according to wave motion. This luminous wave line will act as an iconic spectacle and an impressive backdrop when viewed from the opposite shore.