Queensbridge Wind Power (Video)
Over break I made my way to the Katherine E. Nash Gallery and started to look around. The project that I ended up finding the most interesting was after I watched a video project put together by Andrea Polli about her work concerning the Queensborough Bridge. Polli is an artist who works in Manhattan and lives in Queens, so she daily uses the historic bridge. What she discovers one evening is how the bridge no longer outlined by lights as it has been for years. The lights provided a real beauty to the bridge and without them much of the experience is lost she feels. Polli also describes the contrasting scene while viewing the bridge from a little distance where one can see upwards of 20 different smoke-stacks in the area which really take-away from and make ugly of what should be a beautiful site of the historic bridge during hours of light. After discovering that the city felt that it couldn't afford to pay the $75,000 out of the budget to keep the lights on, Andrea Polli came up with an alternative. She, along with the help of some others came up with concepts using wind turbines atop the bridge's two "points" to generate power for the lights (and possibly more for nearby areas). Why I thoughts this was so interesting is because it really is a complete collaboration between the functional, economical circumstances along with the aesthetic factor. Polli and those with her came up with designs that don't simply incorporate the turbines for the use of power, but they really are trying to incorporate them seamlessly together within the overall design and look of the historic bridge. That is the artistic part of the project that I really appreciate, its taking something that makes sense not only for practical and even economic purposes with the talents of creative an artistic minds that make the complete idea a lot more appealing and meaningful. In the somewhat documentary-style short video about the project the artist talks about how in times of economic crisis, aesthetics will be the first things sacrificed, but how those aesthetics are really things that affect the quality of life. So, again, that is why this project was "cool" (for lack of a better, more artistic term) to me because it shows how people and society can take technology and incorporate it into our lives today and really make a difference. And that change doesn't have to be a clash with current lifestyles, just small changes that can really add up.
The link below will take you to the artists web site and the section dedicated to the Queensbridge Wind Power project.