People's Electrification Administration

Shaved ice cart | bicycle generator | video

The P.E.A. was produced for the 2007 Options exhibition, organized by the Corcoran/Washington Project for the Arts and presented in the headquaters of PEPCO. The project was designed to exist in dialogue with the activities of the bill paying center and PEPCO administrative offices.

In the public portion of the project, I pushed a cart from the U.S. Capitol to Alaska Avenue, NW offering homemade shaved ice in exchange for conversations about direct experiences of electricity. Responses ranged from the mundane act of changing a light bulb to the role of electricity in the generation of thought. For the gallery portion of the project, I constructed an electrical generator to harness the energy of visitors riding a stationary bicycle. The device was modeled on gym environments that generate unused energy while creating conditions of boredom often relieved by watching television.

By pedaling, visitors generate power to run a DVD player and monitor that display documentation of interviews with people discussing their direct experiences with electricity and energy generation, the lines between privatization and DIY self-sufficiency, and ideas for renters and urban residents interested in alternative energy sources.

The public part of the project travelled from the US Capitol to Alaska Ave, NW (about 7 miles across Washington, DC.

Electric pencils and buried cables in Columbia Heights.

Getting shocked in the attic in Mt. Pleasant.

Paying the bill in Chinatown.

The bicycle generator installed in the Edison Gallery at Pepco headquarters in downtown DC.

The bicycle charged a battery rather than powering the DVD player directly.

Charging the battery up during opening.

Three homemade flavors were on offer: plum, apricot, and caramel.