What is the feeling of becoming the wind, an invisible power with a visible physical effect on trees? Will you cherish the leafs, or will you trigger a hurricane? B-wind!

B-wind is a RTiVISS experience where users have the opportunity to dematerialize, “incarnating” and performing an invisible character, the wind, thus observing the impressive visible consequences. The performative potential of this interactive experience and the human scale motivate a choreographic approach that raises awareness on space and the poetry of movement, whereas simultaneously empowering the users by demonstrating a real immediate interaction effect, as if they were the wind. Users are invisible, for their physical presence is subtracted from the resulting visual interface, but the results of their actions are visible, presented in the real-time time video through emphasized effects simulating the wind. The visual disturbance in the human scale video projection reflects users’ passage, and the image bodies have been removed – then just a wind effect remains, recalling its presence through a reminiscent relief.
This proposal is connected to the motto of the so-called "butterfly effect", where the wind waves provoked by the subtle flickering of butterfly's flight have the huge consequences of a “hurricane effect” somewhere in a remote place. This emphasizes notion of space through the idea of a forest in a distant place, by recalling the second part of the motto "on the other side of the planet", which would symbolically correspond to covering enough distance to the exponential effect.

B-wind requires programming work on real-time video distortions, as to simulate exaggerated wind effects, so working with particles will be a starting point for expressiveness and responsiveness. In this outlook, the work of Kirk [Woolford04] is especially meaningful for the interactive work with fields of particles, as if translating motion into abstract poetry.
Drawing storyboards for movement indexing and mapping is part of the methods. The process involves working with open source tools with a broad set of libraries on vector field with particles, techniques or patterns of effects on the videos, such as OpenFrameworks and Isadora. After choosing and adapting the desired filters, we’ll then implement and analyze implications, performance, and the poetry feel.

Overtaking space limitations, this experience recalls telepresence, too. A challenging idea is the power to apply the wind effect in the forest itself – the motion visual tracking in the installation would have a real amplified effect on the real trees and in real time, by triggering physical devices producing the visual effect of wind on the framework visible in the video screen. Microcontrollers such as Arduino communicating with wind generators machines can be a departure point for accomplishing this behavior. Previous work with wind fans has been essayed by André [Gonlçalves07] and Bruno and Rita [Amaral07], although in completely different contexts and scale.
Reinforcing the wind visual effects with real wind in the installation is a feature to consider, but that redundancy may reduce the visual impact of the image, and be too literal to coexist with the proposed synesthesia.

B-wind is especially prone to dance and performance by appealing the whole body to intervene, to experiment, to "let go". A dancer could feel motivated to give its best, whereas the average non-dancer users would eventually feel somehow lighter, and elegant in the role of the wind. This raises multiple questions, as for any kind of user, what's the feeling of becoming invisible? Is it pleasant, is it strange? Confronted with such possibilities, will the user feel enthusiastic about the idea of experiencing a kind of superpower, omnipotence even? Will he "spread its wings" and feel the freedom to cherish the trees? Will he free the tension by releasing anger towards an infinitely absorbing infinite (air) surface? Will he even be willing to explore his potential of generating wind by his own, simply by running faster, somehow “competing against the machine”?
By contrast, will the user subvert the motion concept? Or, as a child, would he explode in energy and joy joining the celebration of nature without processing processes, causes or consequences – just being?... the wind.



AMARAL, Bruno, FIGUEIREDO, RIta [2007], Blow me, installation, Prémio Mapa, Universidade Católica

GONÇALVES, André [2007], I Thought Some Daisies Might Cheer You Up, installation, Interactivos?, Media Lab Madrid

MADEIRA, Rui [2009], Parque, interactive installation, Parque da Paz – Almada, Portugal

SOMMERER, Christa, MIGNONNEAU, Laurent, [1993], "Interactive Plant Growing", ZKM – Center for Art and Media

WATSON, Theodore, GOBEILLE, Emily, [2009], Funky Forest - Interactive Ecosystem

WOOLFORD, Kirk[2008], Bhaptic