By Emily Matchar
October 5, 2016
Regatta H2O, as the sculpture is called, is the winner of a contest sponsored by The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), an organization whose goal is to “accelerate the transition to post-carbon economies by providing models of renewable energy infrastructure that add value to public space, inspire, and educate.” Since 2010, they’ve been hosting a biannual contest for artists to create public art that’s beautiful and generates green energy. Previous years have seen the contest in places like Dubai and Copenhagen; this year’s was held in Santa Monica, California, a part of the world deeply affected by climate change-driven drought.
Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry, LAGI’s founders, say Regatta H2O, from Tokyo-based designers Christopher Sjoberg and Ryo Saito, stood out above the pack for using the “specific contextual features” of its Santa Monica Bay site in its design.
“By addressing the challenge of water infrastructure and recognizing that water and energy are inextricably intertwined, especially in California, the proposal has the potential to serve as a beautiful and consistent reminder of water’s importance to Santa Monica residents and visitors,” they say, in a statement written to Smithsonian. “The artwork is also ephemeral. It almost seems to disappear when the conditions are not right for fog harvesting. As a consequence, the artwork does not compete with the natural beauty of the bay and could be a welcome addition to such an historic and cherished landscape.”