miska knapek


Windcuts is a physical information visualisation retelling the Helsinki wind's travels over five days, using wind sensor measurements from Helsinki, and wood and a CNC machine to cut it from there too. The work investigates the nature of representation on several levels, including 'natural mappings', 'nature at home' and the meaning of objects as form follows data.

windcuts model - front diagonal view

Inspiration for the work partly came from my growing up by the coast, seeing the daily interaction between wind and matter, trees permanently shaped by the wind. The work is my reenacting the meeting of wind and wood, albeit in digital form.

windcuts model closeup - weather front

The form of the works representations is an attempt to use mappings 'native' to the natural data. The line's direction shows the wind's direction, the line's width shows the wind's speed - a more intense wind makes a bigger line - and the line's height shows the wind's temperature.

windcuts model closeup - turbulence

This work is an attempt to find forms that make nature's forms and being more accessible, and, to put it in people's everyday lives. We have pictures of the effects of nature's processes, but not of the processes themselves. Having pictures of nature as a living being should hopefully bring an empathic understanding of it living just as humans do.

windcuts model closeup - wind crossings

As an object formed by wind data - and the author's chosen info-mappings - it is the product of more than only aesthetic judgement, but also of wind, helsinki where it was measured, and five days in May 2007, when it was measured. The object has become is not just an object, but representation of a phenomena, place and time.

windcuts model overview - side view

( As a bonus detail I'll add that the work was made in Helsinki, out of a tree the CNC-operator and woodshop master had found, cut down, and dried. ).
Entirely dull technical details: Work size: 90 x 60 x 5 cm The author wrote software to turn the Helsinki wind-movement and temperature measurements into a three-dimensional form, which was then cut using a computer controlled mill ( CNC ), from local wood.

3d animation of the author's software used to make the 3d form that was CNC milled

CNC milling machine milling the works