~e; photos of powerfalls

From bc <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Fri, 29 Mar 2002 00:15:29 -0600

  [one of the best places in Minneapolis is being near the river,
  the Mississippi. stars in Minnesota and goes down the middle
  of the USA. stories of paddleboats and all. in any case, one of
  the great treasures of the city has been the Stone Arch bridge.
  before it was renovated, it was a great place to explore, and
  kick stones into the rushing waters way below. now it is redone
  and is pedestrian friendly, but the views are still spectacular,
  and the meaningfilled context the same. memory is quit absent,
  forget the name of the falls, but they have a story, about an
  island that the local Native American Indians had, which is a
  part of the area. there is a lock&dam on nearby the bridge,
  and large e-pylons from the power generating dam and what-
  not. so here are a few pictures of this place, which is located
  right where the city began, by the Mills, Pillsbury's mills are
  on either side of the river. the 'A' mill has e-pole-like attach-
  ments on its facade but couldn't get the photo as it is a working
  factory still, in some regard, and a truck was idling outside.

  in any case, here is a small journey into what someday may be
  understood as how electricity is created through power generated
  by turbines at hydro facilities, which is then transferred along
  giant e-pylons/towers to the city and far away. bringing light,
  heat, power, and the rest of e-civilization to the citizenry. if
  this dam was not functioning, while the grid is interconnected,
  meaning many power plants feed into the same distributed grid,
  it would still be a major difficulty, thus, it is a place where one
  can see where all of the energy is transformed and transferred,
  prior to becoming digital, computerized: the internet begins here.]

  triangulation .jpg 		~38k

  in the rivertown area there are many high-voltage lines, and some
  of the most various i've yet to see in one place. so one goal is to try
  to photograph the various types. this is one i rarely see, the triangle.
  it is an offshoot line, not part of a main stretch of similar types of
  e-pylons. what was interesting about this photo was that in the back-
  ground is a e-pole for lower voltage distrubution, and also a cellular
  tower to the left, showing the many aspects of electromagnetism:


  steamstacks 1 .jpg   	~85k

  prior to getting on the old bridge, and nearby this line is the steam
  plant, i think it is, at least it is what i heard years ago about it. and
  its mysterousness, not as a building, but as a cultural knowledge, is
  demonstrated in its shrouding in the trees, with its stacks rising above:


  steamstacks 1 .jpg   	~85k

  here is a photo closer up, from the side, when on the bridge that
  crosses the Mississippi river. these stacks are reminiscent of the
  stories of the first Industrial Era in England (imagine, 1800s) when
  steam/coal power was the prime mover, and such stacks (of smoke)
  would billow forth, and coat the sky in dark clouds covering the sky:


  tripod light .jpg   		~52k

  this photo brings together several elements upon close inspection. one
  being the unique powerline/pylon. these are like giant legs marching a
  long the river. they are gigantic. rustic metal. and aesthetically are
  quiet amazing. and engineers may have done such work, as they are
  concerned with aesthetics of such things, and have written papers
  about the aesthetics of powerlines, etc. in any case, in the background
  the Pillsbury flour mills can be seen, from the stone arch bridge, which
  is where the picture is taken from. over the railing, toward the bottom
  left, a more usual metal pylon for high-voltage power is visible. also,
  this shot was composed with the old-style light in juxtaposition with
  all the rest, to make the connection between it and these e-power pylons.


  light power action .jpg 	~50k

  if one were to turn to their right (northward) they would see the
  following photo, which brings a few previously disparate ideas
  together. that is, the steam plant, the transmission pylons, and
  the light. along with powerlines which need to cross vast distances
  and thus are very 'bridge-like' in their purpose. to cross chasms.


invisible island .jpg		~28k

if one were to turn directly around (eastward from the 'tripod' photo,
or to the right in the 'light power action' photo above) one would see
the line that is being photographed as it crosses probably a mile of
space, above a bend in the Mississippi river. in the area of the stone
arch bridge is an island, believe sacred, no longer around. and it is
a very unique place, still, even though it has been changed over the
last century. there is a sublime beauty that is not about power itself,
as artifice, but of the river and its surroundings that still do remain:


riverwinds .jpg		~38k

the same e-pylon with a zoom lens, and from a different angle, to
show how sweeping and swept these lines can become. it was a very
windy day, and these lines are made to move with such stresses. so
it is amazing how gentle their slopes are, and yet the power they carry.
this looks like a drop-down/transformation for a local subtransmission
grid or something such. meaning, that the high-voltage probably will
be distributed further around the area for use. thus, the design of its
'closure' or grounding of the current can be seen in its physical form:


powerfalls .jpg		~54k

and the favorite scene for last, the falls themselves, there are
several layers of low-rise dams, probably 3 or more, in which
small drops of great width are made. some shorter, some wider.
notice the high-voltage pylon on the left. it is getting power from
these artificial waterfalls/hydropower, and carrying this current
to where it is needed, such as the downtown area two blocks away.
again, also, the bridge analogy. Minneapolis has many river bridges
(as does Minnesota), and one thing realized was that water and also
power need to make it across rivers just as do bridges. they need
to span something that bridges oftentimes span. sometimes it is
land, but a gap nonetheless between here and there. thus, while
the river moves at its normal speed, inside the wires of the e-
pylons, energy is moving at 186,000 miles/sec (if remembered
correctly). and with phone and wireless and all the rest, all are
dependent upon this base knowledge and understanding that with-
out this power, there is no such thing as e-technology was we
now know it. there is a disconnect, and yet dams such as these
are tourist attractions, they have informational bulletins, and
many people go to see them, for their beauty and mystery. to
find out more about them. they have yet to be taught about in
cultural terms (besides 'historical analyses' or 'environmental
analyses', but without these, for better and worse, our culture
would not exist as it does today. it is that basic, at this level.
or so it is proposed. here is nature, artifice, and the beginnings
of what has become the ubiquity of the 'virtualitzation' of sense.


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