Wind from Nowhere, a work by DXARTS Ph.D. student Haein Kang received Honorary Mention at Prix Ars Electronica 2019.
Wind from Nowhere is a data-driven sound installation, which mechanically reproduces the moment when leaves gently rustle along with the wind blowing through the trees. The title derives from Samuel Butler's novel, Erewhon. Erewhon is the reverse spelling of the word “Nowhere.” The book paradoxically symbolizes Utopia and is famous for predicting the emergence of artificial intelligence. In the fictional land of Erewhon, humans destroy machines, fearful of the appearance of intelligent and conscious machines that could threaten human existence one day. In contrast to the novel, Wind from Nowhere affirms the advancements of technology and uses them as a poetic and aesthetic tool. It utilizes the pre-collected weather data from an online weather forecasting site. Wind speed data represented as numerical values regulate the speed of motion and turn into either a breeze or a gust. Custom mechatronic devices wave a series of paper like the leaves swaying in the wind. Mechanical parts of soft materials, such as elastic linkages, produce the organic movements of paper. Fluttering paper appeals to the visual, auditory, and tactile senses to manifest the wind. Wind data creates wind phenomena!