Giny Vos
Elektrowachter, 2011

Weidevenne, Purmerend

In the mortar seams of the brick walls built around an electricity substation, green pulsing lines of light move horizontally around the entire building: like a light chart with peaks and throughs in the wave pattern it seems to monitor the activity rate in the neighbourhood. An abstract and playful depiction of the concept of energy, Elektrowachter makes the function of the hidden substation to provide the neighbourbood with energy palpable and concrete.
The goal for integrating an artwork into the newly built neighbourhood called Weidevenne in the city of Purmerend was to transform the existing electrical substation into an eye-catching symbol for the new inhabitants. The substation could not be removed, but was thought of as an eyesore in the otherwise much refurbished area. Instead of simply concealing the thing Elektowachter took its essential characteristic of generating and providing energy as a starting point and used it as a metaphor. Its prominent location at the entrance to the city and the odd rhythm of its light wave makes it distinguishable from afar- it can even be seen from the highway and thus functions as a rather flashy signpost.

Dim. (13 x 9 x 15) x 7m high
Brick, steel, LEDs and computer

More Elektrowachter on vimeo

View credits

Client: Gemeente Purmerend
Architect: Roeleveld-Sikkes Architecten
Production: Yens & Yens, De Toekomstgroep Andijk, Bart Jan Hooft
Photography: Gert-Jan van Rooij
Video registration: Bart Jan Hooft