Solar Reserve, a new commission by John Gerrard (MFA 2000) for Lincoln Center and the Public Art Fund, is a digital simulation of a Nevada solar thermal power plant and its surrounding desert. The piece, displayed on a 28– by 24–foot frameless LED wall, will continuously display the virtual plant’s central tower as surrounded by 10,000 mirrors that adjust positions in real time according to the sun to reflect light on the tower to produce electricity.
Gerrard, who often works with digital large-scale concepts, worked with a team of programmers to bring his imagined world alive onscreen via complex video game software. The software situates the sun, moon, and stars as they actually appear over the course of a year at the specific location in Nevada where the virtual plant “exists.” As Gerrard’s computer-generated world rotates with earth throughout the day, every hour the viewer’s perspective progressively shifts from ground level to a satellite view so the same scene is never repeated throughout the duration of the exhibition.
Solar Reserve is set to open October 3 at the Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center (10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York), and will run through December 4, 2014.