The Power of Art

A R&D project that aims to find flexible & sustainable solutions for powering digital artworks.

The Power of Art – Streamed on the 10 Oct 2022

Public, outdoor, digital and light art is a large and growing sector with a bright future, but works are hamstrung by having to be connected to power. This limits the locations they can be shown at, and often involves the use of complex infrastructures with inefficient and unsustainable power systems. This has created a real challenge for the Squidsoup team, considering our environmental impact when presenting our work in outdoor and rural locations.

In response to these challenges, the Power of Art project aims to find flexible and sustainable solutions for powering digital artworks, large and small, in any outdoor situation, and using our own works as guinea-pigs.

With R&D funding from SIRF (Stockton International Riverside Festival) and ACE (Arts Council England) we have partnered with Cleevely Electric Vehicles to explore the capability of second life electric car batteries in combination with solar energy to power digital artwork.

The first part of this R&D project involved measuring the power consumption of each of our artworks. Once we had a good understanding of this we could work out how much power is required to run our artwork off grid for a specific amount of time.

The next step was to test out these calculation with an artwork by setting it up onsite to see how it behaves across a couple of weeks. You can watch the live stream/recording of the live stream above.

Working in partnership with Cotswolds National Landscape we were able to test our R&D off grid artwork at a secret woodland location in the Cotswolds. We installed a new version of our work Circular Echoes, suspended between four trees. 48 of our AudioWave orbs are powered by energy harvested through four solar panels and for this test, leisure batteries.

Moving off grid removes the geographic barriers that currently prevents many people experiencing our artwork, meaning we can create new experience’s anywhere, opening the whole world up as a canvas. We think that people should have access to a full range of cultural opportunities wherever they live and we believe that this approach will directly benefit those living in rural areas, opening up community spaces such as playgrounds, parks and forests to temporary autonomous artworks.

Our Partners 

SIRF (Stockton International Riverside Festival)
Cleevely Electric Vehicles
Cotswolds National Landscape
Home Abbey Farm

The Power of Art at SIRF 2022 (Stockton Internationl Riverside Festival) – Viedeogrpaher Criss Cross Films / Edited by Ian Pain