Submission to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition
Artist Team: Laura Maria Gonzalez, Amir-Behan Jahanbin
Artist Location: Pittsburgh (PA), USA
Energy Technologies: flash geothermal with carbon nanotubes
CLOUD is a revelation of transient states through steam. The installation brings earth and water together to establish a cleansing ritual for both the environment and the body as one, connecting people and nature in a dynamic system of ever-changing currents and flows.
Three sculptures make use of a well drilled into the ground that brings hot water to the surface. Because the geothermal resources below Copenhagen are generally not hot enough to generate steam directly, the hot water is mixed with carbon nanoparticles. The physical properties of carbon nanoparticles allow them to absorb heat more efficiently, creating pockets of steam at a molecular scale. Once sprayed onto surrounding water from the shallow pool, flash steam is created to run an electric turbine and heat a bathhouse.
CLOUD embraces traditional bathing customs as visitors immerse themselves in cool water before entering a steam room. Oscillating steam turbines are visible as people slip into the steam rooms within the sculptures. The contemplative interior space provides an intimate experience between people and technology.
CLOUD is a purifier of body and environment. As people use the sculpture to cleanse their body, the sculpture cleanses the surrounding water of impurities, which becomes valuable for the environment and ecosystems of Refshaleøen. The purification process also generates the power, since it is the same steam that powers the turbines for energy. The result is a compelling relationship between people, technology, and the environment.