Image Source: LandArtGenerator.org

If you’ve ever checked out sites like Recyclart.org, you’ll know of all the awesome (and sometimes crazy) things people create from recycled products. What if someone decided to do something a bit differently with their art; say, create art that also generates energy? Well, look no further, because it’s being done now.

Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry, both residents of Dubai, have created the Land Art Generator Initiative. Along with this, they’ve also launched a global design competition for the best “outdoor public art work that is conceptually engaging while at the same time produces real, usable renewable energy.”

Land Art is an art tradition that uses the natural environment as part of large works of art. Some concept designs that Monoian and Ferry have come up with for “aesthetic power plants” include:

  • Glacier Bay Projection – displays live footage of Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park on a LED wall
  • Ibn Al Haytham Pavilion for Mushrif Park – a tribute to the inventor of camera obscura, using a 150KW concentrated solar photovoltaic system
  • Korfakhan Necklace – can power up to 15,000 households via water energy

Each of these are powered by a source of renewable energy, including wind and solar.

So, what exactly is the purpose of LAGI? Well, according to the website:

“The goal of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is to design and construct Land Art / Environmental Art installations that have the added benefit of large scale clean energy generation. Each sculpture will continuously distribute clean energy into the electrical grid with each land art sculpture having the potential to provide power to thousands of homes.”

A great purpose for art, to be sure. They hope the initiative will bring artists and scientists together, so they may build more aesthetic power plants for the future that will “inspire the world through their conceptual beauty and their renewable nature”.

If you are curious about the design competition, you can find all the information needed on it here. However, for some snippets of information:

  • All entries must be submitted by June 4, 2010.
  • The design must be in 3-D, embody a sense of beauty and must stimulate and challenge the mind of the viewer on a contemplative level.
  • The design must capture energy from nature, convert it to electricity, and have the ability to store or transform the electricity to a power grid connection point.
  • The design must not create secondary emissions (other than electricity) and cannot pollute its surroundings.
  • It must be safe enough to view from designated platforms and boundaries.
  • It must be constructible within reason and use technology that can be scalable and tested.
  • It cannot negatively impact the natural surroundings.
  • There is no requirement or restriction on size other than the plot limits and the environmental footprint of the design.