PUBLIC ART GENERATING POWER? MAYBE IN LAS VEGAS

The Las Vegas Weekly   Kristen Peterson  
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Using organic photovoltaic material, “Beyond the Wave” (submitted to LAGI’s Copenhagen competition in 2014) harvests solar energy.

While sharing a bottle of wine and overlooking the indoor ski resort inside the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian mapped out a plan for clean energy in the realm of public art. Both Carnegie Mellon University grads, Ferry, an architect, and Monoian, then an art and design professor at Dubai’s Zayed University, focused on site-specific projects that would bring together artists, architects, scientists and engineers to find aesthetic alternatives in harvesting clean energy. Four international biennial competitions later (Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 2010, Copenhagen in 2012, New York City in 2014 and Santa Monica in 2016) and operating as the Land Art Generator Initiative, they’ve turned their attention to Las Vegas as a potential site for 2018.

Following an invitation by Las Vegas arts advocate Pam Stuckey of Renewable Envoy, Ferry and Monoian have met with city officials, state agencies, artists and business leaders here. Whether or not Las Vegas becomes the 2018 site, the two sound convinced LAGI will be involved in a project here within the next five years. “All the right ingredients are here,” Monoian says. “People are talking about energy in an area that has done it before with Hoover Dam. Everything is right for a project like this.”

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LAGI Founding Co-Directors Robert Ferry & Elizabeth Monoian in Las Vegas, Nev. on May 24, 2016.

It begins with collaboration that can provide resources and funding to run the competition, past examples including a partnership with Massai women in Kenya, Africa and a project underway in Glasgow, Scotland.

One idea deals with freeway berms connecting Downtown’s Symphony Park and the West Las Vegas overlay, a project that could activate the nearby underpass and power 1,000 homes in West Las Vegas.

“We’ve been going as far as we can see, and from there we can see further,” says Las Vegas artist Steven Spann, who has been hosting presentations at his studio.

LAGI has 800 design concepts in its portfolio from teams in more than 60 countries. The Dubai/Abu Dhabi competition drew sophisticated, wildly innovative concepts for clean-energy stations there, and more than 40 teams participated, resulting in gorgeous, science-based infrastructures that mimic nature or supersede ideas of traditional power plants.

Thanks to Stuckey, who wondered why ideas like these weren’t being discussed in Las Vegas, we might see that manifest here in some form.

3 thoughts on “PUBLIC ART GENERATING POWER? MAYBE IN LAS VEGAS

  1. Based in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, and Carnegie Mellon grads… A winning combination! I look forward to staying in touch and to hearing about plans for the international Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) design competition for the City of Las Vegas, and to working together to integrate our plans for the Clark County Theatre Center “in ways that enhance public space, educate, and inspire”.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Mountaintop Musings, by Ralph Stalter, Jr. and commented:
    Based in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, and Carnegie Mellon grads… A winning combination! I look forward to staying in touch and to hearing about plans for the international Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) design competition for the City of Las Vegas, and to working together to integrate our plans for the Clark County Theatre Center “in ways that enhance public space, educate, and inspire”.

    Like

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