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Anthropocene

Anthropocene
Art That Delivers Clean Water & Power
An international competition challenges designers to show that clean energy production and dazzling public art can be one and the same
Photo Essay
October 2016

“Since 2010, the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) has sponsored site-specific design competitions, soliciting ideas for public art that generates clean power. Its 2016 contest was the most ambitious yet. It called on designers to conceive of art installations that generate both clean power and water for the city of Santa Monica, California.

“Now, more than ever, energy and water are intertwined,” notes the organization. “As California faces severe water shortages in the coming years, the amount of energy required for water production and transmission is sure to increase.”

The contest’s coastal setting allowed designers to harness not only solar and wind power, but also wave and tidal energy. Its proximity to the Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility provided the opportunity for integration with existing city infrastructure. Further, note the contest organizers, “we can challenge those who would disapprove of these important infrastructures on aesthetic grounds, especially at sites that are cherished for their cultural value and identity (like the Santa Monica Pier Breakwater).”

Here we present highlights from the competition. Learn more about the contest and the entries here and in Powering Places: Land Art Generator Initiative, Santa Monica.”

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