Tele-Present Wind, blowing somewhere else

Tele-Present Wind

The wind is a universal natural phenomena, and it’s usually associated with weather conditions and forecasts. But it is still perceived as almost unforeseeable and invisible except for its physical impact on plants and for its sibilant sound. Wind has two characteristics in common with the virtual environment: the complexity of conditions needed to be generated (so, often being unforeseeable) and its proliferation in an incorporeal dimension, so being invisible in reality. “Tele-Present Wind” by David Bowen is a installation consisting of twenty-one tilting devices hosting dried plant stalks in the gallery. They are connected with dried plant stalks outside, all connected to an accelerometer. The wind causes the outside stalks to sway, inducing a real time replica of the phenomenon inside the gallery, almost in unison. This very realistic “wave” of stalks is not simulating a real phenomenon, but replicating it through transmission. In a way, as the title suggest, it’s tele-presence wind, carefully revealing to the gallery guests exactly how it is blowing somewhere else. Although the wind has been explored as an input in a few installations (as in the Wind Array Cascade Machine by Steve Heimbecker), this very poetic implementation is fairly new. The movement of stalks is instantly and anthropologically recognized by our senses as a primary sign by nature, although coded through different devices. The pattern made by the stalks swaying is a wave, able to mesmerize, even with the uncertain movements of the mechanical devices.