The power of art is often described as being emotional, healing, ethereal, and inspirational. But in the context of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), art’s power is as literal as that: power. An international design competition launched this January, the LAGI calls for artists around the world to submit designs for a new land art/environmental art installation that shoots to not only deliver a compelling aesthetic, but also give real-life added value in the form of large-scale, clean energy generation for thousands of people. As this exciting competition draws to a close next month, we’ve caught word that a number of works will not only be set for public exhibition later this year, but more impressively, the most successful proposals will also be tendered for construction!
In order to get the creative juices flowing, LAGI’s coordinators – husband and wife design team Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian – offered up several provisional concepts to its hopeful entrants. Some mind-bending eco-precedents that really caught our eye for their artistic ingenuity included a renewable energy, video LED wall with live streaming footage of Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska visible 24 hours a day en route from Dubai to Abu Dhabi; and the Orfakhan Necklace: 30MW, an 832 wave-energy collecting device that resembles the individual ornaments of a necklace above water. Other more well known works that made an appearance included the famed ‘Spiral Jetty’ by Robert Smithson, and ‘The Lightning Field’ by Walter De Maria.
Submission guidelines left much room for creativity, with three sites within the United Arab Emirates pared out for the artists to build upon. One of the more interesting provisions did however state that the objective was “not to design and engineer a device that provides the cheapest KWh or the most energy per square meter of land,” but rather, to first and foremost center the piece as an artistic endeavor. In other words, a design that sacrificed aesthetic for efficiency would ultimately not find success – quite a turnaround from the traditional power-plant design process! Whether this guideline can be deemed as restrictive or not, if the incredible precursors we’ve seen thus far are any indication of what’s to come, then all we can say is that we can’t wait to see the results at the close next week, and we definitely can’t wait until one of these things gets built!