The creative expression of technology is alive and well in Harris County, Texas. From the Paley Stairway sculptures to the Arco del Tiempo, public art pieces are incorporating clean energy technologies to create unique works of art. Riccardo Mariano, an artist and architect based in Berlin, is one of the many artists who have used technology to create stunning works of art. His Paley Stairway sculptures, completed in 1987, line the escalator that leads to the entrance of the Wortham Theater Center in downtown Houston.
The University of Houston System (UHS) is the first public university system in Texas to launch a temporary formal public art program. Public Art UHS and the University of Houston School of Art have partnered to create an object laboratory where emerging art historians, curators, museum professionals, and others interested in visual and material culture can learn best practices for handling, recording, digitizing, and analyzing objects. Riccardo Mariano's work is a prime example of how technology can be used to create beautiful works of art. He explains his ideas behind his work: “The apparent movement of the sun in the sky activates space with light and colors and attracts the spectators who participate in the creation of the work with its presence.” His latest work, Arco del Tiempo, will be installed in Guadalupe Plaza Park in 2024. This acrylic sculpture will be a dramatic addition to the University of Houston Arts District and will also serve as a catalyst for future sustainable public art projects.
Arco del Tiempowill incorporate solar modules into its south-facing exterior to generate approximately 400,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. This is equivalent to the demand of forty Texas homes and will offset more than 100% of the energy demand of the nearby Houston Bilingual Talent (TBH), a generationally owned Latino cultural center for the performing arts in the East End. The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) has a vision for energy transition that includes artists and designers playing a key role in bringing renewable energy technologies to landscapes and cities.
By using solar modules and other clean technologies as means of creative expression, they are helping to make our world more sustainable. Harris County is home to many public art pieces that incorporate technology into their designs. From Riccardo Mariano's Arco del Tiempo to Albert Paley's Paley Stairway sculptures, these works are inspiring others to use technology as a form of creative expression. The creative expression of technology is an ever-evolving field that has been embraced by Harris County, Texas. From Riccardo Mariano's Arco del Tiempo, which will generate clean energy through solar modules, to Albert Paley's Paley Stairway, which lines an escalator leading up to a theater center, these works are pushing boundaries and inspiring others to use technology as a form of creative expression. The University of Houston System has even launched a formal public art program that allows emerging art historians and curators to learn best practices for handling objects related to visual and material culture.
The Land Art Generator Initiative also has a vision for energy transition that includes artists and designers playing a key role in bringing renewable energy technologies into our landscapes and cities. Harris County is leading the way when it comes to using technology as a form of creative expression. Through public art pieces like Riccardo Mariano's Arco del Tiempo, Albert Paley's Paley Stairway, and initiatives like Public Art UHS and LAGI, this county is inspiring others to use technology as an artistic medium.