Sculpting wood with wind and Processing

Photo by Miska Knapek

Miska Knapek’s “Windcuts” is a really neat example of turning sensor data of a fairly abstract and intangible nature, like readings of wind and temperature, into something that is most certainly tangible, expressive and downright beautiful. Converting data from nature into the digital realm has always held a profound personal interest, and the directness and simplicity of Miska’s work makes for a really strong coupling between the two. The interesting twist to this particular project is the re-transfer of the digital data into physical objects that resembles the same shape characteristics that nature itself creates from elemental impact, the great difference of course being the speed of construction.

The Processing language is used to harness the raw elemental data gathered into a three dimensional form, which is transferred into physical form using an NC Milling machine on a MDF board.

Video showing the Processing sketch

The mapping is fairly direct; the direction of the curvature is based on the wind direction, the width by its speed, and the height is controlled by the temperature readings. No technical details are given on how the analog elemental data were digitized, only that it was provided by the “Finish Meteorological Institute’s Testbed Helsinki Project”.

Video showing the sculpting process

More videos and pictures of the finished “Windcuts” can be found on Miska’s Flickr page.


Tor Guttormsen – Group R