Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada) 2014
installation view, Lincoln Center, New York
3 October – 1 December 2014
Presented by Lincoln Center in association with Public Art Fund
Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada) 2014 is a computer simulation of an actual power plant known as a solar thermal power tower, surrounded by 10,000 mirrors that reflect sunlight upon it to heat molten salts, forming a thermal battery which is used to generate electricity. Over the course of a 365-day year, the work simulates the actual movements of the sun, moon, and stars across the sky, as they would appear at the Nevada site, with the thousands of mirrors adjusting their positions in real time according to the position of the sun.
This virtual world is meticulously constructed by the artist, a team of modelers, and programmers, using a sophisticated simulation engine. Simultaneously over a 24-hour period the point of view will cycle from ground level to a satellite view every 60 minutes, creating an elaborate choreography among perspectives, 10,000 turning mirrors, and a dramatic interplay of light and shadow.