Created by James Leng, Point Cloud is an attempt to re-imagine our daily interaction with weather data. Even with the modern scientific and technological developments related to weather and when we can deploy sophisticated monitoring devices to document and observe weather, our analysis and understanding of meteorology is still largely approximate. Weather continues to surprise us and elude our best attempts to predict, control, and harness the various elements. Point Cloud builds on this premise, exploring new ways to interpret and understand weather data.
Weather has always had a unique place in our lives, because it has a multiplicity that encompasses both the concrete and the indeterminate. It is the intangible context within which we build our lives and our cities, but it is also the physical element against which we create protective shelter. Most of the time it is an invisible network that we can see but are not aware of; yet it can manifest in a spectacle or disaster, come forward and activate our senses, make us forget our rationality in delight or fear.
Point Cloud is a sculptural form defined by a thin wire mesh, driven asynchronously by 8 individual servos controlled via Arduino. As whiteness of the hanging structure begins to disappear into the background, the viewer is treated to a constantly morphing swarm of black points dancing through midair. In the current prototype, the speed, smoothness, and direction of rotation are modulated to interpret a live feed of weather data. Instead of displaying static values of temperature, humidity, or precipitation, Point Cloud performs the data, dynamically shifting between stability and turbulence, expansion and contraction.