Solar-Powered Artwork Around the World

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Solar Collector

Set up on a small grassy hill by the side of an Ontario road in 2008, "Solar Collector" by Gorbet Design ups the educational ante by giving "citizens the opportunity to interact with the sculpture ... to change the look of the lights and create their own performance each night," Zamora writes.

The nightly motion of the sculpture's 12 aluminum shafts -- one for each month of the year, and varying in size according to the length of the day in different seasons -- is controlled by basic patterns that users around the world choreograph online. The light show ends when the energy gathered by its solar panels during the day is used up. (For an extra environmental bonus, the triangular lenses on the lights are recycled WWII tank periscope prisms.)

"By collecting the creative output of people during the day along with the sun's energy, and combining them into a graceful nightly performance, the piece connects people to the power and beauty of nature," says artist Matt Gorbet.

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