Tagged with nature

electric mountain

Posted November 30th, 2010 at 7:14 pm. There are 0 comments.


photo via ben cooper’s flickr

Deep inside the mountain is an 800m shaft, about 30m wide. During times of excess energy on the National Grid, water from the lake below is pumped up into the reservoir above the shaft. And when a surge of energy is needed on the grid, (say during a football match half-time), it’s released back into the lake, hurtling through the turbines and generating up to 1,320 MW from standstill in 12 seconds.

This isn’t all that surprising, after all it is how all watertowers work, but the name, Electric Mountain, the description of the semi-audible humming present at the site which is somewhere between hearing and feeling, gives the whole place a Tarkovskian type feeling of the Zone.

The wikipedia article about the Dinorwig Power Station has more details.

After we climbed out, I asked about the lake below. “You could say that it’s tidal, but with the television schedules, rather than the moon.”

Mind is blown.

via tom taylor


Posted July 23rd, 2009 at 5:59 pm. There are 0 comments.

bcc_se50_full.jpg (JPEG Image, 720x892 pixels)-4.jpg

Floral Fauna: Bird Edition by Josh Brill. Prints of 15 different birds in editions of 50. Absolutely beautiful.

On the Grid

Posted April 30th, 2009 at 7:17 pm. There are 2 comments.



On the Grid is a project documenting the space created by the vast nationwide network of powerlines and the land underneath them. Undeveloped except for the powerlines them selves they carve through the landscape, connected the most rural with the most urban. The shared space, buzzing with the hum of excess electricity, is at times a pristine and beautiful meadow surrounded by forest and others, the uninhabitable tract amongst suburban banality, beautiful in its own right.

On the Grid, a project by Adam Ryder and Brian Rosa, explores the landscape immediately surrounding high-tension electric transmission lines in Rhode Island. Starting near the Ocean State Power facility in Burnllville, Ryder and Rosa spent several days walking along various sites of this arterial infrastructure. Sites were chosen though surveying publicly available aerial photographs and land use maps, and all photos were geotagged with handheld GPS units. In combining the rigid technical process of digital mapping with the subjective practice of landscape photography, this project explores the state as a collection of differentiated spaces that, though seemingly isolated, are networked.

The resulting photographs showcase the topographical diversity surrounding these structures, whose own narrow terrain remains virtually unchanged throughout their straight, incisive paths. The path of the power lines functions as a rural to urban transect, cutting through farmland and commercial parks, cul-de-sacs and strip malls, used car lots and interstate highways.

As human intervention in the natural landscape sprawls to the most remote areas of the state, our lived space becomes increasingly regulated and our encounters with equivocal territories are especially rare. In more urbanized areas, we lose our relation to places which seem to exist unto themselves, where one can feel alone and unhindered. The ambiguity of the land occupied by high-tension power offers the possibility of experience outside of regulation. Despite being part of an infrastructure that is highly regulated and bureaucratized, the physical space inhabited by these power lines remains easily accessible though its sheer ubiquity. Thus, paradoxically, the realm of power lines seems to exist not only outside of regulation, but also outside of the normative properties of the native landscape. Whereas an area half of a mile away from a high tension line may be densely wooded, the space occupied by the wires will be clear-cut, devoid of trees and exhibiting, at most, low shrubbery and grass. The uniformity of this narrow swath as it cuts through the landscape reveals as much about its own spatial utility as it does of the landscape it bifurcates across the state (and beyond). It is this topographical sameness that makes the power lines amazing sites of contrast against both development and the natural landscape.

On the Grid invites reflection on the blurred relationship between networked technology, the built environment and nature through these buzzing monoliths.

– Website Text (An image on the original website)

They did a nice interview on the NPR show Living on Earth (mp3 link).
Quoting here,

Yeah absolutely, it’s a really unique tract of land that doesn’t have any development on it except for itself. So, it’s kind of, in a way its really pristine and untouched and…virginal, its kind of, kind of like, romantic and magical in that way.

-Adam Ryder


What’s really – I think actually awesome, is the best word I can use to say it – what’s really awesome about seeing this parade of power lines through the landscape, especially in rural areas is that we’re kind of seeing these, these tendrils connecting humanity as one large organism and it’s a cool way of looking at us, you know what I mean?

-Adam Ryder

Locate powerline grid infrastructure near you via this previous post

spider web repair

Posted April 29th, 2008 at 12:22 pm. There are 0 comments.

Mended spider web

Artist Nina Katchedourian embarked on a project, as part of her series on uninvited collaborations with nature, where she mended spiderwebs that appeared damaged or incomplete. Using thread and although she worked carefully the repairs did cause extra damage. The spider’s reaction to the unsolicited repairs was  great.

The morning after the first patch job, I discovered a pile of red threads lying on the ground below the web. At first I assumed the wind had blown them out; on closer inspection it became clear that the spider had repaired the web to perfect condition using its own methods, throwing the threads out in the process. My repairs were always rejected by the spider and discarded, usually during the course of the night, even in webs which looked abandoned.

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