trans-elemental

Second Life Island, windchime, motor, fans, custom electronics and software.

Installation / 2012



Can natural elements from a virtual reality take solid form and exist in our physical reality? Can virtual particles affect real world molecules?

This project is a mixed reality installation in which the wind of Second Life is used to move a wind chime in real physical space. The virtual wind’s direction and speed are the variables that determine the device’s functionality in real time. This work creates a parallel between these two realities (virtual and physical), showing how they relate and interact with each other, creating a portal from one world to the other.


In Second Life an invisible object is coded to get the wind’s vector information of this virtual world, it calculates, in real time, the steering angle and speed of it. The information is then sent to an arduino through an Ethernet shield using Pachube / cosm (server to send and receive data) as an in-between bridge. The microcontroller (arduino) uses the ​​received values from the wind's direction (angle in degrees) to control a servo motor that rotates and positions one of two turbo fans which then simultaneously blows depending on the received values ​​of the wind speed (in meters per second). Each one of the 2 turbo fans covers 180º of the possible wind direction range (360 °). The breeze generated by the device moves the wind chime, which produces the sound.

Parallel to this process, a laptop runs a Second Life viewer and projects over a screen (using a video beam) a real-time image of the virtual landscape from where the wind data is taken. An image showing the artificial nature (trees, plants, water, etc.) of the virtual world while blown by the local digital wind.



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Prototyping Process

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Istallation process, "la Residencia - Tunja 2012"