The nothing that is
A travelling wind chime
Intro One thing the stream of digital data and the wind have in common is their invisibility. Both withdraw themselves from being visible with just the human eye. Yet, their effects can be seen and felt, either as pixelated signs on a computer screen or as the cold morning breeze on our skin.
These small translucent devices catch the wind and displace it to somewhere else. They are like digital leaves, moving in the wind. And they are also devices for travelling, because you can travel to any place with them.
Concept The devices are inspired by different things: various devices of the internet of things, kinetic sculptures, and also the work of french anthropologist Marc Augé. In his œuvre Non-Places – Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity he discusses the notion of the non-place. In his sense, non-places are places of transit like roads, airports or shopping centers. Places without historical meaning which are just passed through.
The concept of not-being-but-still-being is also the main theme of this work, which reflects on the omnipresence of digital information. Not visible – yet there. And with our digital interconnectedness everything can easily be accessed from anywhere. Like these wind chimes: they let you travel places without leaving your current whereabouts.
Technology and Fabrication The device uses real-time weather data, namely the data of the wind speed. According to this speed, the leaves are turning slower or faster. You can type the place you like to travel to into the interface and – go! The wind chimes will be moving according to the received data.
Each device is connected to a servo motor, which is connected to an arduino microcontroller. To get the data, an api (open weather map) is used and accessed via node.js. Websockets manage the communication between the interface and the microcontroller.
The wind chimes are made of translucent acrylic glass and cut with a laser cutter.
Type internet of things
Role concept, coding, fabrication
Client university project
Tools arduino, johnny-five, node.js, socket.io, api, laser cutter