Submission to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition

Artist Team: Simon Nummy
Artist Location: Dubai, UAE
Energy Technologies: heliotropic photovoltaic panels

“A short burst of inconsequential information”
Jack Dorsey, the first tweet

#HelioTweet is made up of 140 “characters,” each with its own solar tracking (heliotropic) photovoltaic system. The PV panel set out is used to form a seven-segment display within a 7.5 meter x 9 meter module (67.5 m2 of total PV surface per “character”). Sun tracking will maximize solar harvesting (22% increase on energy output compared to fixed panels), and the “characters” have the potential for many configurations and dynamic movements.

Laminated into each of the display-panel glazed segments is a switching film—consisting of Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystals (PDLCs), which is used to control the opacity of each of the segments. Light Tape™ is used to illuminate the segment when activated.

The feed from the installation’s dedicated twitter account will be primarily focused on climate issues. The larger-than-life social media display is a canvas to explore many applications, functions, and outputs, such as atmospheric CO2 concentration as demonstrated (401 ppm as of May 17, 2014).

The hydraulic arms of the “characters” are fabricated from repurposed earth-working excavator arms, bringing an industrial aesthetic appropriate to the site and creating a reference to resource extraction.

#HelioTweet has the potential to act as a reimagined “speaker’s corner,” an installation where analog and digital meet, encouraging freedom of thought and expression.