Wind Drawings

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This meditative digital artwork visualises wind and traces it on the screen in a form of a computer generated mandala made of sand.

 

Created for an interactive installation at Denmark’s Drawing Festival it is centred around my interpretation of the windy, flat planes of Denmark, their similarities to the salt planes found at the Slovenian sea coast and the fascination with the ever present, but transient force of weaving air. The aesthetic direction for the project was that of a slow pencil on paper sketching leaving the viewer with the calm and focused experience of listening to the gushes of wind and movements of air around him.

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Video


Concept

In Slovenia there is a saying that “salt is the sea that could not escape back to the sky.” Hence, the inspiration for the project were grains of salt – “salt flowers”, as the locals call them. Just like grains of sand in Buddhist mandalas or in western hourglasses, they made for quite a beautiful visual metaphor of an external force leaving its traces embedded in the virtual material.

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Wind Drawings capture the various winds that I’ve recorded in many locations around Denmark. The longer the recording, the larger the amount of time is for the flower to be drawn. The stronger the wind, the bigger its generated petal becomes. If projected in real time, the drawings keep on re-drawing themselves, like a shape in the sand.

When all three of the drawings are traced out, just like in mandalas, the intricate shapes created get brushed off the canvas and give way for the process to start again from scratch.


Process

Initial sketches

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Recording wind

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Air movements were recorded using the Zoom H4N voice recorder and had heavy audio filtering applied in Ableton Live(similar to how you would usually filter out the wind from audio interviews, here I wanted to filter out the opposite – everything else, but wind).

 

First coded sketches

First interactive sketches and procedural drawings using Processing were created. Pencil-like aesthetics and autonomous drawing was explored. Initially Perlin noise was used instead of actual waveforms.

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Peter De Jong Atractor

Playing with Peter de Jong Attractor in a side-project gave birth to the idea of how to tweak the parameters just right to get the subtleties of noise texture combined with math precision.

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Slowly the waveforms started to appear as sketches on a paper. Parameters were tweaked. Little by little the scatter became a line, became a circle, became a flower.

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