The Beauty of Recycling
Submission to the 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative NYC design competition

Artist Team: Daniel Elmore
Artist Location: Cherry Hill, USA

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Artist Descriptive Text:

The “Beauty of Recycling” seeks to enforce the importance of recycling by creating solar energy collectors that not only harvest the sun’s energy, but creates a spectacular light show during the twilight hours. These solar energy collectors, composed largely of recycled materials, collect energy throughout the day, reserving small amounts of energy for a daily “Twilight Show”. The rest of the energy is distributed to local power grids. Spheres made of recycled plastic float on the surface of the water, tethered to the riverbed by anchored pulleys controlling their various heights and levels of submersion. These solar-energy-collecting spheres will go through a daily cycle of collecting energy from dawn to dusk. When the sun begins to set, the devices are submerged underwater and multi-colored LED lights within the devices’ plastic spheres begin to glow, creating a spectacular lightshow for park visitors that compliments the natural beauty of the setting sun.

The goal of the project is to avoid potentially endangering the existing engineered systems and infrastructure of the landfill. Instead, by simplest means possible, the project seeks to attract visitors who will enjoy its natural beauty. To assure minimal environment impact, and allow for easy installation, the devices are simply anchored to the riverbed through the use of steel nails (not to exceed 3 feet in length). The design of the device naturally insures that these nails are secured at varying angles to enhance its grip to the riverbed. When the Twilight Show is over, the devices are completely submerged until the next day when the cycle will recommence. Visitors to the Freshkills Park will leave this former landfill with a greater appreciation for nature, an understanding of technology’s potential to compliment nature, rather than destroy it, and our ability to merge vision and beauty in the realm of recycling.