Bonita Ely


'Thunderbolt' by Bonita Ely. Thunderbolt applies digital technologies to a physical object to effect transformations in response to live data streams online that record the amount of electricity consumed in the locality. These transformations of the sculpture’s appearance are driven by community members’ actions in their daily lives regarding energy conservation.

Supported by and located at Coles, 234 Patton St, Broken Hill, NSW
Bonita Ely - S.H.A.P.E Residency POD 2, December 2009
Environmental Research Initiative for Art, College of FIne Arts, University of NSW.

Bonita Ely is Head of the Sculpture, Performance and Installation Department of the College of Fine Arts (COFA), the University of New South Wales, Sydney where she is a founding member of the Environmental Research Institute for Art (ERIA). Bonita is proposing an environmental sculpture about energy conservation in Broken Hill, titled 'Thunderbolt.'
Project Description: Planning and construction of a public sculpture that builds upon the many established roles for art installation in a public location with the aim of creating a new, sustainable prototype that enhances the theatre of social dialogue surrounding environmental issues. In the demanding testing ground of large scale, unorthodox, electrical, and electronic public artworks, this sculpture will test new, robust technologies towards addressing problems of ecological degradation pertaining to the extravagant use of energy.

This Compass S.H.A.P.E project is under the umbrella of the Environmental Research Initiative for the Arts (ERIA), located at the College of Fine Arts Sculpture Department, at the University of New South Wales. We are in partnership with variuos institutions, such as Broken Hill Inc and the Sydney Olympic Park Authority to research ways that the process of fabricating art can be environmentally sustainable, as well as the role of art in small industry, telecommunications and the interface of physical objects with electronic communications, with applications in remote areas.

In developing this work there is the potential for creating links between the art sector and other community related sectors.

ERIA's focus is on developing transferable methodologies, technology and installations that address nature conservation public awareness and energy efficiency. We aim to preserve remnant ecosystems in degraded, polluted, and damaged industrial and heritage-listed sites, such as mines at Broken Hill.

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