The title SYZYGY—an astronomical term used to describe objects “yoked to the sun”—refers here to energy dependence and the race to develop alternative forms of energy production. Working backwards from Los Angeles to the distant sites of energy production that sustain the city, the project investigates the sources of electricity that populate the grid, as well as the neighboring ecologies that have been altered and engineered to sustain population growth and urban development.
Weaving together history, philosophy, engineering, urban planning, and design, SYZYGY researches existing technologies that harvest energy from the sun. The video examines solar technologies through a complex video story that ranges from Ancient Roman helio-camini (first use of architectural glass to capture heat) to contemporary practices of solar farming in the Arizona desert. The filming process is open-ended and agile. Part of the process is generating an archive and seeing where gathered images, sites, and texts lead over time.