John Gerrard: Solar Reserve

Presented by Lincoln Center, in association with Public Art Fund
October 1 – December 3, 2014

Production | Acquisition Grant

This work was gifted to the Museum of Modern Art through the support of VIA Art Fund.

Displayed as a 28’ x 24’ LED wall at the Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson’s Plaza, John Gerrard’s Solar Reserve utilizes video game technology to replicate an actual solar thermal power plant in Nevada. 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 astonishingly real virtual world was meticulously constructed by the artist, a team of modelers, and programmers, using a sophisticated video game engine. Simultaneously over a 24-hour period, the point of view cycles 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. Commuters passing by Lincoln Center on their way to work saw the sun charging the power plant as it rose in Pacific Standard Time, while visitors to evening performances might have seen a sunset before local Nevada constellations emerge and floodlights illuminated the solar tower at night.

To learn more, visit Public Art Fund and Lincoln Center.

Images: John Gerrard, Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada), 2014, simulation, presented by Lincoln Center in association with Public Art Fund, Photos: Iñaki Vinaixa.