Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Land Art Generator Initiative and Masdar Announce the Winner of the Competition for Renewable Energy Generating Public Art

Abu Dhabi, UAE; January 19, 2011: The winning team of the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition was announced today at an award ceremony at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. The team members, Robert Flottemesch, Adrian P. DeLuca, Johanna Ballhaus, and Jen DeNike were all on hand to receive the award from Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, Associate Director, Sustainability for Masdar on behalf of Masdar and the Land Art Generator Initiative.

The four team members are the designers behind Lunar Cubit, which is the title of the public art concept design which took top prize as determined by the jury. Lunar Cubit examines the nature of time through nightly contemplation of lunar phases and daily transformation of sunlight into electricity. The concept, which fuses energy generation and public art, is designed to be open to the public, inviting a personal experience where one can literally reach out and touch a 1.74MW (enough to power 250 homes) utility-scale power plant that takes the form of nine monolithic pyramids rising from the sands of Abu Dhabi.
The artwork is conceived of as a monthly calendar, allowing viewers to measure time through the eight lunar phases represented by a ring of eight pyramids encircling one central pyramid. All nine are proportional to the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Giza and scaled using the royal cubit. But they’re not made from stone; they’re made of glass and amorphous silicon, giving them the appearance of onyx polished to a mirror finish. The work of art, should it be constructed would be energy positive within five years and pay back its cost of construction through the megawatt-hours of clean, renewable energy that it produces. 
Lunar Cubit illuminates in an inversely proportional relationship to the lunar cycle so that the work becomes most fully lit during the night of a new moon. Accompanying the centre pyramid is a corresponding outer pyramid, clearly marking the lunar phase like the hand of a clock; light forever rising and falling as the moon spins around earth. Data monitoring will be accessible on site and remotely via a web application so that everyone can follow in real time how much energy is being generated, thus serving as a tool for education and public awareness of the great potential for renewable energy.
The presentation of the first prize award marks the culmination of the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), a first-of-its-kind venture that has brought together global artists, architects, scientists, landscape architects, and engineers to conceive of renewable energy generating public art installations for Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The international competition received hundreds of entries from over 40 countries in its inaugural year. The announcement of the winning design is the next step towards the eventual construction of the first ever in the world large-scale public artwork that will generate utility-scale electricity for city consumption.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi's multi-faceted initiative advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions, has sponsored the first prize award and has hosted the winning team in Abu Dhabi for the occasion.
Commenting on the award, Robert Flottemesch stated, “We are deeply honoured to be recognized as winners of the LAGI competition. We are grateful for the tremendous support of Masdar in sponsoring the competition and so generously hosting us at the WFES. I look forward to making this project a reality and contributing to the future of renewable energy in Abu Dhabi.”
LAGI is currently seeking partnership for the next stage, construction. Once complete, the selected design will be the first of its kind and will become a tourist destination that draws people from around the world to experience the beauty of the collaborative art creation. At the same time, the art itself has the potential to provide clean power to thousands of homes in the UAE, and set an educational example of the potentials that exist for sustainable development in the 21st century. Over time, the constructed works of public art will pay back both their carbon construction footprint and their installation cost making them the perfect investment in our future.
Visitors to the World Future Energy Summit, which is open through the 20th of January, can see beautiful renderings of Lunar Cubit and many other amazing entries to the 2010 LAGI competition. All of the designs have also been posted to a portfolio section on the LAGI web site,
For further info, please contact: Lisa George/ Hiba Al Hafidh, Iris Public Relations MFZE, Dubai, UAE. Mobile number: 00971508718561/050 349 1679. E-mail:
Rasika Krishna, APCO Worldwide, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Email:

About Land Art Generator Initiative
The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is a worldwide public arts initiative that offers the opportunity for collaborative teams of artists, architects, landscape architects and designers, working with engineers and scientists, to create new ways of thinking about what renewable energy generation looks like. It begins with the statement that renewable energy generation can be beautiful at the same time that it is functional. LAGI seeks to broaden public awareness of renewable energy’s promise by inspiring and educating through public art about the potential for a sustainable future.
The goal of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is to design and construct public art installations that have the added benefit of large scale clean energy generation. Each sculpture will continuously distribute clean energy into the electrical grid with each land art sculpture having the potential to provide power to thousands of homes.
The project has received featured articles in numerous local and international press outlets, including The New York Times. LAGI continues to pursue the construction of the winning design while in the planning stage for the 2012 New York City competition. The plan is to maintain a biennial schedule for competitions in cities around the world.
LAGI was conceived by Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry, a husband and wife team based in the UAE. Elizabeth is an interdisciplinary artist and designer. Robert is an architect.
Please visit for more information.

About Masdar
Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted initiative advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions. The company serves as a link between today’s fossil fuel economy and the energy economy of the future - developing the “greenprint” for how we will live and work tomorrow. Backed by the stability and reputation of the Mubadala Development Company, an investment vehicle of the government of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is dedicated to the emirate’s long-term vision for the future of energy.

About the artists, images of whose work is included with this release:

Robert Flottemesch (Artist - Sr. Engineer)
Robert Flottemesch is an artist working with renewable energy and a Sr. Engineer at Hudson Valley Clean Energy, New York State’s largest solar integrator; headquartered in New York’s first zero-net energy commercial building. Pioneering the hybridization of art with renewable energy, he expands social awareness and understanding. Astronomy, quantum physics and William Blake serve as recent inspirations. Mr. Flottemesch is NABCEP certified in Photovoltaics and extensively trained in Building Science. He holds a B.A. in Contemporary Art from Bard College.

Johanna Ballhaus (Landscape Design)
Johanna Ballhaus currently lives and works as a self-employed landscape designer in the Hudson Valley, NY, USA. Managing and designing projects for a developer in New York and a builder in New Paltz, NY, she emphasizes a distinct design language with low environmental impact that mediates the qualities of the natural heritage and the beauty of clear structuring of open spaces. Mrs. Ballhaus’ prior experience spans between NYC and Berlin, Germany where she has managed residential projects and international competitions. Her Diploma in Landscape-Planning is from the Technical University, Berlin, Germany.

Adrian P. De Luca  (VP, Sales and Marketing)
Mr. De Luca is a founding team member of Locus Energy, which provides web-based operations and management software to the distributed renewable energy market. At Locus, he is responsible for product management as well as strategic planning and business development. He has 10 years experience in information technology marketing and sales. Prior to Locus, Mr. De Luca was the vice president of marketing at GridPoint, where he was instrumental in launching the company's innovative renewable integration products. He has a B.A. in Economics from Pomona College.

Jen DeNike  (Artist )
Jen DeNike is an artist who lives and works in New York City. Her work has been shown internationally including: Museum of Modern Art, Kunst Werke, P.S.I/MOMA, Julia Stoschek Collection, Brooklyn Museum, Shanghai Zendai Museum Of Modern Art, CCS Hessel Museum, MOCA Miami, Site Gallery England, Tensta Konsthall Sweden, EMPAC. She received her MFA from Bard College in 2002. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Forthcoming solo exhibitions this fall include: THE COMPANY Los Angeles, DUVE Berlin, and Claudia Groeflin Zurich.

A demonstration site of the Lunar Cubit live online energy monitor can be seen by visiting:

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