Steve Heimbecker - Wind Array Cascade Machine and Pod
  Year :   2003
  Location :   Canada
  Worktype :   -
  Materials:   -
  Info :   Subtle Technologies Festival in Toronto. The electronic and software systems for POD were designed in collaboration with Avatar, Québec, QC, Canada, during an artist residency at Recto-Verso. Research funding for POD came from the Canada Council for th

  Work Details  
  An award winning installation that was created for the Wind Array Cascade Machine (2003) data network / stream. POD is a 64 channel installation that uses 2880 light emitting diodes (LEDs) to portray a 4 dimensional picture of the wind (3-D plus time). Each of 64 “pods”, functions as a velocity or amplitude light meter of each of the 64 wind sensors in the WACM data network. POD is designed to operate from live streamed data produced by the WACM installed upon a horizontal (rooftop) location, or from recorded wind data previously generated by the WACM system. The POD installation is 3 metres by 3 meters across, and 1.75 meters tall (eye level). There are many aspects to POD that are hidden beneath the the design structure and concept of the installation. POD was designed as a silent representation of wave patterns of the wind. For Heimbecker, these wave patterns are a metaphor for the movement of sound waves through space. From this perspective the 64 individual light clusters built for this installation visually represent the idea of the amplitude meter of a sound mixing console. As the amplitude or strength of the wind increases (or decreases) so too does the light level of the POD LED clusters from (low) dark green to (high) red. But these clusters are also an analogy for the seed POD of a head of grain found in the Saskatchewan wheat fields which inspired Heimbecker to create the WACM sensor network. This visual is emphasized by the organic looking copper rods that support the POD light clusters and the ribbon cables that hang freely. The 8 X 8 grid is also significant in relation to the prairies and Heimbecker’s birth place, in that a “section” of land which is a square unit of area surveyed to be one mile by one mile, and contains 640 acres or 80 acres X 80 acres, is the grid of which the POD base is a derivative. Finally, the wind is often thought of as a sound, but the sound of the wind is not heard, only objects affected by the wind are heard. By changing the wind into light, these silent wave patterns become a catalyst for synaesthetic observation, where many of those who have expereinced POD have also said they have heard it. In 2003, POD premiered as part of the Mois Mulit Festival in Quebec City, and then later at the Subtle Technologies Festival (at Interaccess), Toronto. In 2004, POD was exhibited at The Kenderdine Art Gallery - U of S, Saskatoon, just before it’s European premiere at ISEA 2004 Wireless Experience at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Findland, and then finally that year at a solo exhibition at OBORO, Montréal. In 2005, POD was presented at BEAMS Sea of Sound Festival - as part of the WORKS Festival in Edmonton, and then at the exhibiton CyberArts - OK Centrun, where POD won an Honorary Mention in Interactive Art at Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria. In 2007, as part of Transit / Transition, POD will be exhbited at Centro Cultural Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Lima) in a group exhbition organized by Groupe Molior of Montreal.