Elaine Brechin: Windgrass




 
  • ©1998, Elaine Brechin, Windgrass

Artist(s):


Title:


Windgrass

Exhibition:


SIGGRAPH 1998: Touchware

Creation Year:


1998

Medium:


Interactive Installation

Size:


20" x 18" x 18"

Category:


Interactive & Monitor-Based

Artist Statement:


Windgrass explores the contrast between natural forces and computa­tional processes, between human intimacy and technology that creates distance. Computational technology often leads us further away from the physical world, particularly when the interaction it supports is channeled through the narrow bandwidth provid­ed by the keyboard, mouse, and screen. Windgrass seeks to address this problem by bringing more intimate physicality into the play between human and machine.

Lightly blowing across the surface of Windgrass sets off an undulating visual display on a field of 768 tiny incandescent lights. In addition, Windgrass amplifies the users’ soft blowing. This movement makes the object pull against its tether in the same way a dog pulls against its chain.

Windgrass evokes the emotional closeness we associate with our rela­tionships to domestic animals. It sug­gests a domesticated piece of tech­nology with a dependency on intimate human input. The user is compelled to bend down closer to the tethered object to interact with it in an intimate way. This recreates a sense of famil­iarity in the interaction the object requires.