A temporary installation harnesses wind data and vivifies the path of the wind

SEEING THE PATH OF THE WIND

Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA 2000

Moore College of Art and Design Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 1991

40' diameter circle made of 3' tall flags

Weathervane and anemometer, indoor weather station, eight fans suspended from the ceiling, 1,200 organza flags in indicator orange and aqua blue, rubber stoppers, steel rods, silver compass points

This temporary installation harnesses wind data and brings it into the gallery. An outdoor weather station registers wind speed and direction data and sends it down from the gallery roof to a weather station inside. Using that data, the indoor station controls a set of eight fans placed at cardinal points (north, northwest, west, etc.) of a thirty-foot diameter circle made of 1,200 organza flags. As the outdoor wind direction and speed changes, the corresponding fans turn on and off, replicating the path and strength of the wind over the field of flags.

Depending on the velocity of the wind, the flags ripple or fully extend. During storms, the patterns that emerge are particularly striking—the flags resemble a large school of tropical fish changing direction all at once.

By watching the piece over time, museum visitors learn much about wind currents in the local area.