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Kasia Molga: Positively Charged

Reimagining the future of energy at Taipei Arts Festival

Positively Charged is an interactive art installation by FAULT LINES artist Kasia Molga. Premiering at Taipei Arts Festival, the work uses smart technology to explore future visions of Taipei (one of Asia’s leading innovators in urban planning and design, public transportation and smart technology), and provoke discussion about the social and environmental impact of new technologies.

Artist: Kasia Molga

Date: August – September 2017
Medium: Interactive art installation
Related: Fault Lines

When the world is changing at a fast rate, leading to waste and overconsumption, how can art help us reimagine the future of energy?

As our cities increasingly burn through energy and resources, citizens are becoming ever more attuned to environmental concerns and the need for sustainability and self-sufficiency. In Positively Charged, artist Kasia Molga offers a new perspective on the future of energy, exploring ways of circulating personal energy through a beautiful, interactive installation. The work is inspired by the future of energy harvesting technology, how it interacts with the lives of ordinary people, and how art can contribute new ideas to technology innovation.

Positively Charged began with a workshop led by Kasia, in which young people from Taipei shared their concerns for the future. One of their biggest concerns was energy: where it comes from, how we can be more environmentally aware, and the need for self-sufficiency to take us into the future. In Positively Charged, Kasia explores these ideas, bringing them to life as a beautiful interactive installation that uses smart technologies to create a vision of a future Taipei City and explores new ways of harvesting and circulating personal energy.

Visitors to the installation play the role of a cell bursting with power, generating and transmitting energy. Their heartbeats and movements are transformed into a light display; a visual representation of personal energy being transformed into electricity. Without their active participation to ‘power up’ the exhibition, visitors can’t fully experience the Positively Charged display. By making the audience directly responsible for the ‘life’ of the work, Kasia casts a light on the unseen, inviting people to reflect on their relationship to technology, the city, and the creation and consumption of energy.

Smart devices and materials are creating invisible layers in the city, allowing people, nature and objects to interact in new ways. New energy harvesting technologies are often based on thermoelectric generators, which turn temperature changes into electrical energy with minimal waste. So, what if we were able to capture and share energy from anything which emits heat or motion in our urban environments — the heat of the sun, the wheels of a car, even our own bodies?

In Positively Charged, Kasia works with these new sensing and energy harvesting technologies to create poetic and thought-provoking experiences about their social and environmental impact. The work presents a vision of the future in which we share responsibility to be the ‘positive particles’ that keep the city alive and care for the environment around it.

Positively Charged premiered at Taipei Arts Festival at the Digital Art Centre, 7 August – 3 September 2017.