solar 9. LIGHT

Natural light, the bane of many galleries' existences, is present at Lombard - Freid, if restricted from the main exhibition space. This light, augmented with the decidedly unnatural electric form, is used to generate direct current through an array of solar panels perched atop a model of an actual tower in Westchester County. The electricity generated is used by the observatory and the small monitor in the model of the gallery upon which an image of the moon can be seen.

Studies commissioned by Con Edison show that at any given time an average of 5% of the electrical power used in SoHo, where Lombard - Freid is located, may be generated by private individuals. Anti-monopolistic state laws stipulate that power companies must purchase excess electricity generated by individuals who operate their own windmills, hydroelectric turbines, and solar collectors to create power for their own use. In fact, there are 45 small power companies around the greater New York area and thousands of individuals who sell power to Con Edison, who in turn sells it back to everyone else.

The tendency for individuals to want to "do for themselves," to conserve resources, and to find ways around dependence on large corporations is becoming more common. Hot air "Stirling" engine technology, "renegade" and "alternative" spaces, hydrogen burning cars, easy bake miniwave ovens, long the province of little old men and boy scouts have been sufficiently developed by these latter to attract the attention of NASA and aerospace manufacturers like Lockheed and Lombard - Freid. There is the inspiring case of David Hahn, a teenager who constructed a nuclear breeder reactor in his back yard, which unfortunately was destroyed by the EPA before completion. The influence of tinkerers and cranks is perhaps greater than may be suspected, and is quickly becoming identical to the influence of large and anonymous corporate entities.
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