The installation "Things Said, Things Seen, and Things Done" consists of three working 100W of solar photovoltaic panels installed on the archeological site of Elefsina. The panels are engraved with three symbols of the Eleusinian Mysteries, which took place on this site for almost two thousand years: the whestsheaf, the poppy, and the calathus. A micro-inverter supplies power from the panels to the local grid, supplying both the archaeological apparatus and the other artworks in the exhibition.
Installed for the exhibition "Mystery 19 Visual Arts Initiator III – But Don’t Tell Anyone", part of the 2023 Eleusis City of Culture programme, October 2023. Artist's statement from the opening:
This work is called “Things Said, Things Seen, and Things Done”. It consists of three one hundred watt solar panels, engraved with the wheatsheaf, the poppy, and the calathus, which are among the sacred objects of the mysteries, and which you can see engraved on stones around this site. This work is intended to honour the ancient cult of Demeter, and the veneration of the living Earth which she represents.
These are working solar panels, and every day they generate about 1 kilowatt hour of electrical power.
Over the course of the year, that is the equivalent of burning around fourty litres of gasoline, like that produced in the refinery over there, which would release around one hundred and thirty kilogrammes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The same energy could be used to make around eighty five kilograms of concrete, in the factory just behind me, which would release about 50 kilograms of carbon dioxide.
Instead of doing those things, the power from these panels is going to the artworks around you, and into the archeological site itself. This artwork redistributes power and changes the composition of the atmosphere.
The technology to do these things is available to us, and the knowledge of how to do them is not a mystery, nor a secret, but it might require new rituals, and new initiations, to distribute it more widely. This is one of those rituals.
It is my hope that these panels can remain in Elefsina, and be used in the future by a school, social centre, or other public organisation, not just to change the balance of power, but to educate more people in how this change can be performed. Because an initiation is only the beginning.