Queens Artist’s Vision Unite With Mayor’s Green Policy
By JULIET WERNER
Thursday, Long Island City artist Andrea Polli
sent an email to Queens Council on the Arts Director
Managing Director Lynn Lobell. She was sure to
cc Executive Director Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer.
Polli had heard Mayor Mike Bloomberg's call to
increase the City's reliance on wind power. Bloomberg's
idea to mount windmills on bridges, which he presented
at the 2008 National Clean Energy Summit in Las
Vegas, was a good one and one that she had proposed
four years ago. She thought QCA would be sure
to appreciate the fact that the vision was first
who teaches in the Film and New Media Department
at Hunter College, received a $2,000 grant from
the Queens Council on the Arts in 2004 for a series
of drawings and a video, collectively called the
Queensbridge Wind Power Project.
"The Queensbridge Wind Power Project presents
a vision of a future when meeting energy needs
can enhance the beauty of a city by investigating
how clean, renewable wind power could be integrated
into the landmark architecture of the Queensboro
Bridge," Polli wrote on her project's official
The Mayor's green energy plan currently includes
installing windmills on bridges and skyscrapers,
turbines on the rivers' shores and solar panels
on several other buildings throughout the City.
"Today, we're taking a step that will really kick
alternative energy production into high gear in
the Big Apple," Bloomberg said at the summit.
"We want their best ideas for creating both small
- and large-scale projects serving New Yorkers.
Such projects might, for example, be designed
to draw power from the tides of the Hudson and
East Rivers…They might call for dramatically increasing
rooftop solar power production, which we've estimated
could meet nearly 20 percent of the City's need
for electricity. They could tap into geothermal
energy. In fact, some private home and building
owners have already drilled their own 'heat wells.'
Or perhaps companies will want to put windfarms
atop our bridges and skyscrapers, or use the enormous
potential of powerful off-shore winds miles out
in the Atlantic Ocean, where turbines could generate
roughly twice the energy that land-based windfarms
|Polli suggested placing windmills on the Queensboro Bridge in 2004.
said she frequently looks out at the bridge from
the comfort of her Long Island City apartment.
The events of Sept. 11 combined with the blackout
of 2003 provided further inspiration.
"I was inspired by the design it had," Polli said.
"It had these amazing spires and those were removed
in 70s. So the idea of the project is to return
those spires. It can be problematic to slap some
turbines on the bridge. You really have to think
about how it's integrated with the architecture
Lobell said the judging panel, comprised of curators
and fellow artists, was impressed by Polli's vision.
"It was very innovative and kind of cutting edge
at the moment," Lobell said, adding that other
QCA grantees have received funding to make artwork
out of recyclable materials.
When Lobell heard of the mayor's proposal, she
immediately thought of Polli's earlier work. The
QCA's Queens Community Arts Fund directs city,
state, federal, and private funds to individual
artists and organizations that have been in operation
for at least a year.
Polli has toured the country presenting her video
and drawings. Phase two of the project consists
of putting a weather station on top of one of
the Queensboro Bridge towers and using the transmitted
data to create artistic pieces.
For information about the artist, visit www.andreapolli.com.