‘Current’ Provides a Living Map of Seattle City Light’s Hydroelectric Generation, Customer Energy Use

Current, a living map of Seattle's hydroelectric generation and energy use created by artist Adam Frank, is now open for viewing at Seattle Center's Center House as a part of the Next Fifty celebration.

Current by Adam Frank

Current, a living map of Seattle’s hydroelectric generation and energy use created by artist Adam Frank, is now open for viewing at Seattle Center’s Center House as a part of the Next Fifty celebration.

 The approximately 45-feet-wide by 30-feet-tall mural is illuminated by light projected directly on the interior north face of Center House, where it is available for viewing through June 4.

CURRENT visualizes the amount of electricity Seattle City Light is generating and transmitting into the city in real time and displays energy usage patterns in Seattle neighborhoods. As City Light generates electricity, two currents of light flow into the city map on the wall. This flow varies in density depending on how much electricity is being generated by City Light at that moment. The light flows through a virtual map of Seattle’s distribution lines. The amount of light used by a particular neighborhood reflects the power usage of that area.

In Seattle, hydroelectric generation converts water flow into the electricity we use every day. The equations that govern both electricity and water are almost identical. CURRENT makes this fundamental relationship visible.

Adam Frank is artist-in-residence for Seattle City Light beginning in the fall 2011 through 2012. He is working with Seattle City Light to bring awareness to conservation and sustainability in innovative ways.

A map overlay shows Seattle City Light's service territory superimposed on a vertical representation of Current.