Second Wind is a kinetic, responsive art installation which examines the invisible processes taking place in and around a Ponderosa pine tree. Wind speed data, measured at 20′, 25′, 30′, 35′, and 40′ in the canopy of a Ponderosa pine on the University of Montana campus, is translated into the gallery in real time using two Raspberry Pi single-board computers. This data determines the velocity of the five fans in the gallery. Each fan interacts with a suspended vellum structure which moves more or less depending on wind speed. The vellum is painted with an ink made of fermented pine needles from the tree, and depicts changes in canopy density based on height.
This piece is one of a series of works exploring the often-hidden mechanics of plant physiology, aiming to transform these microscopic or invisible processes into analogues viewers can experience in a tangible way. Second Wind aims to raise questions about the limits of perception and knowledge, limits which are especially important to investigate as our capacity to shape our ecosystems continues to grow.
Photo: Brock Mickelsen