ARTIST: Molly Dilworth
I propose to test and establish the IRR value of a palette of solar-reflective roof paint. Currently, most manufacturers offer a limited color range (white, light gray, light beige) and are willing to mix any color but can’t provide IRR values for those colors. The NYC CoolRoofs program has minimum IRR standards, without known values, the colors can’t be used. With a standard set of IRR colors a series of solar-reflective rooftop paintings could be made through the CoolRoofs program, improving efficiency of city buildings and beautifying the city as a whole, particularly on roofs that can’t support the weight or cost of gardens or green roofs. These rooftop paintings would be made with government (NYC Department of Education – on school buildings with students), community and private partners.
For the National Renewable Energy Labs (Golden, CO)
Department of Energy Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program
NYC Department of Buildings – Cool Roofs
Over the past two years I have partnered with green building community organizations, climate change activists, arts organizations and government agencies to make public art pieces that investigate things that invisibly motivate our actions. My projects are built from the ground up, beginning with research about a particular site, with an emphasis on exchange and community involvement. I never have a specific outcome in mind, my work is a set of experiments in order to find out how things work, to foreground things previously existing below the level of conscious experience.
My first interventions in the physical world to be experienced digitally were large-scale paintings on rooftops (Paintings for Satellites, 2009 – present). From site approval to execution these projects required community involvement. What began as an experiment in examining our contemporary digital experience lead to paintings in partnership with Build it Green NYC (a green building non-profit), CoolRoofs NYC (a new Department of Buildings program) and 350.org, Bill McKibben’s climate change organization. These projects made for and with communities to beautify neighborhoods also gave people control over their immediate physical environment and a connection to the city by participating in a NYC heat island reduction effort.
In the summer of 2010 I installed Cool Water, Hot Island, a 5-block, 50,000 square foot public artwork in the center of Times Square referring to the historical geography of midtown, especially the Great Kill stream that once flowed near contemporary Times Square. The cool colors were chosen to make the plazas more calm and comfortable for pedestrians, and to contrast with the reds and yellows of the neon billboards.