LACMA debuts its 'Solar Reserve,' a digital sculpture addressing energy conservation

On a sweltering July afternoon, the Dublin-based Gerrard, in town for the installation, eyeballs the newly-installed work, a 24-foot-tall wall of tiny LEDs resting on the museum’s Resnick lawn, shimmering in the unrelenting sunlight. Gerrard used gaming technology to create a virtual world that mimics the positions of the sun, in real time, over the Solar Reserve site during the course of a year. At this moment, the work depicts an aerial view of the power plant, concentric circles of tile-like mirrors with a tower at its center that, all together, resembles an ancient, slate-gray sundial of sorts. But the image morphs throughout the day, as the power plant’s 10,000 mirrors continuously shift, tracking the sun.