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“New Visions,” the 2nd Edition of the Henie Onstad Triennial for Photography and New Media opens in Oslo (NO). A total of 22 artists including Anna Ehrenstein, Anna Engelhardt, Kristina Õllek, Monira Al Qadiri, Emilija Škarnulytė (image: RAKHNE, 2023), and Istvan Virag contribute media and installations, drawing on traditional mediums and new modes of automated image-making to underscore the ubiquity of “resource extraction, energy distribution, and data harvesting.”
“Current mining operations have now become their own geological force, scraping, sorting and collecting more dirt, rock and sediment than the world’s rivers, wind, rain and glaciers every year.”
“By attempting to shield consumers from high prices, governments will only encourage consumption via lower prices, prolonging the energy crisis.”
“This Current Between Us,” an installation and performance program, opens at the Neo Faliro Steam Power Plant in Piraeus, Greece. Artists including Nikos Alexiou, Hypercomf, and Miriam Simun contribute works exploring energy and production in response to the decommissioned site. The latter’s performance Do Not Break Out of Prior Range (image), for example, draws on a blender, lightbulb, and power cord—and Simun announcing “this isn’t just a milkshake, it’s a crucial north-south energy bridge” into a microphone.
“Some institutions are spending more on their energy bills than they are on their exhibition programs, which is crazy.”
“Paired together, you’d have nearly a whole kilowatt of power being sucked up by just the processor and graphics card. Everything else will absolutely push this system over the 1000W line.”
“At some point, we’re amassing all this computing power at the consumer level for the sake of amassing this power because we can. Then we just go and use it to stream Netflix.”
“The evidence now suggests a 3 to 4 degree warming by mid-century, not accounting for tipping points—which could easily be 5 or 6 degrees.”
“It takes at least 10 hours to produce 1 kWh on a bike generator. The electricity price in France is roughly €0.20 per kWh, so that’s what you would earn that day!”
“The sunniest place in the world Azerbaijan is only four times sunnier than the cloudiest place in the world, Norway. Contrast this with how oil is distributed, you’ll see that the places with the most oil have a million times as much as the places with the least.”
“Talking about building this city beside a volcano is like thinking you are rich because you live next to a bank.”
Kyle McDonald shares a “bottom-up” estimate and tracker of Ethereum emissions and energy use that considers key variables such as hashrate and hashing efficiency, hardware and data centre overhead, grid loss, and power supply efficiency. According to the artist’s analysis, the popular cryptocurrency network consumes around 23 terawatt hours per year—as much as the entire state of Massachusets. “Ethereum is effectively operating two to three coal power plants,” McDonald writes on Medium.
“What if an exhibition had an energy budget? How would it affect its design, organization, management, and activation?” With 16/2017, Spanish artist Joana Moll forces Barcelona’s Arts Santa Mònica Center to cut its energy usage by 50% during the “Exposar · No exposar-se · Exposar-se · No exposar” exhibition. Named after a failed policy to half the region’s CO2 emissions by 2030, 16/2017 prescribes weekly meetings to monitor the energy budget and negotiate corrective measures with management, artists, and the public.
Marjolijn Dijkman’s solo exhibition “Electrify Everything” opens at NOME Gallery, Berlin, bringing together three interrelated bodies of work that ruminate on the history of electricity and the environmental impact of modern energy storage. The photo series Earthing Discharge (2019-21, image), for example, is made with a high voltage electro-photography technique in which the Dutch artist uses a discharge plate made from a tin-coated sheet, the same material as used in touch screen devices.
MIT researchers announce a breakthrough in magnet technology that paves the way to green fusion power. “On Sep 5, a large high-temperature superconducting electromagnet was ramped up to a field strength of 20 tesla, the most powerful magnetic field ever created,” MIT News reports. The new magnet allows far better control of fusion plasma inside a much smaller reactor—a watershed moment for the technology. “None of us are trying to win trophies at this point,” notes MIT’s Maria Zuber. “We’re trying to keep the planet livable.”
A History of Solar Power Art and Design
“As of the second quarter of 2021, governments around the world have allocated around USD 380 billion on clean energy measures as part of their economic response to the Covid-19 crisis. This is around 2% of the total fiscal support in response to Covid-19.”
To demonstrate Ethereum’s greener future, software engineer and Rocket Pool contributor Joe Clapis runs lightweight proof of stake validator Nimbus on a Rasberry Pi, a 10,000 mAh power bank, and SSD—powering 10 validators for 10 hours. “The Pi consumes 5 watts, so that comes to around 0.1 KWh of energy per day, or 0.01KWh per validator,” notes the Status Network. “In other words, 3600 times more energy efficient than Bitcoin proof of work—a 99.97% reduction in power.”
“Flare gas could just as well power carbon capture machines, water desalination plants, or data centres that support more widely used applications. There’s a social value in those things that I don’t see for Bitcoin.”
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