Employing solar cells as the energy source, I have created a symphony of solar powered electronic and kinetic audio objects that can be used in multiple installation formats. These installations become the basis for on the spot educational interactions on solar energy, DIY electronics and kinetic sound art. Simplicity, availability, and elegance are the hallmark of solar power. Being powered by light energy, the works reflect these values in both materials and style.
Each solar powered sound object has a different visual character and method of producing sound- from a simple oscillator chirping like a digital bird, to a the ring of a recycled copper tube struck by a solar powered actuator. The viewer is able to both visually experience and audibly hear the presence of the energy in the space. Each circuit independently translates ambient illumination into audible indicators at a variable rate. Dictated by the natural and artificial light available in the physical space, the individual solar sound generating objects create an arrhythmic symphony of audible light.
This project reflects my interest in alternative energy and the ways that technology can shape and inform our understanding of the world we live in. With Solar Symphony I want to call people's attention to the light energy that is all around us by using simple technological machines that make the "invisible" energy apparent through an audible presence. Most of the energy we use, in whatever form it comes in, originated from solar power. The coal and oil that still powers much of our modern world is compressed solar energy that was stored in plants. Wind power and water power is a product of atmospheric imbalances caused by cycles powered by the sun. As technology progresses we will be able to tap more directly into this source, giving us a clean and renewable resource for our energy needs.
Video documentation of Solar Symphony installed at the Passage Gallery