Dimensions: 170 x 180 x 65 cm
Materials:  Wind Tunnel, Wind, Smoke, Laser, Wood, 3D print, Custom Software, Twitterbot, Electronics

Vortex-Faced Being represents all of the world’s winds. The Vortex-Faced Being is encountered in a specially designed wind tunnel. The wind tunnel visualizes the turbulence pattern that trails a delta wing model. This turbulence pattern is the face of the wind. Smoke and a laser sheet allow for this otherwise invisible phenomenon to be seen. Changing the angle of the delta wing renders different recognizable facial expressions. This wind tunnel features a programmable robotic gimbal that adjusts the position of the delta wing. The gimbal responds to incoming data in real time.

A custom-made twitterbot named the “Vortex-Faced Being” connects to weather stations at every line of latitude to report on the speed and direction of wind at every line of latitude around the world. This data is input to control the delta wing and its robotic gimbal, effecting the expression of the face of the wind. The result is that the Vortex-Faced Being comes to represent all of the world’s winds.

Alternative setups also exist in which the Vortex-Faced Being is exposed to specially designed “language lessons” to establish communication with it. It can also express the emotions of other people when connected with EEG monitors, an approach developed with the Brain and Emotion Laboratory at the University of Maastricht. This last variation frees our minds from its corporeal limitations to inhabit the wind, and, for what may be the first time, links neuroscience and fluid dynamics.