Joseph DeLappe, a professor in the Digital Media Studio of the University of Nevada, used an Xtracycle-equipped mountain bike to draw a 460-mile chalk circle around US airforce bases in an art project aiming to highlight how American deserts could be wired up to solar panels to create clean green energy.
Project 929: Mapping the Solar was completed May 19th through 29th. Via chalk strapped to the back of his Xtracycle rear platform DeLappe symbolically drew a line around the Nevada Test Site, Yucca Mountain, Nellis Air Force Range, and Area 51, creating a 460-mile long chalk drawing. He marked a geographical area equal to the measurement of a solar farm the Union of Concerned Scientists estimated would be “more than enough to meet the country’s entire energy demand.”
DeLappe rode the bike approximately 50 miles per day for nine days in the desert above Las Vegas. During the ride, DeLappe had to stop to change chalk approximately every two miles, enduring up to 11 hour days in blistering heat.
"Conceptually, Project 929: Mapping the Solar was an ideational and activist exercise towards representing another possible choice we could make as a nation, physically re-imagining geographical space for energy sustainability," said DeLappe.