Breeze – The decimal place, a construct of nature beyond 0 and 1

Created by Boyoung Lee, ‘Breeze‘ is a kinetic sculpture that investigates natural and delicate movement using the materiality of papers and a digital system. It consists of 96 note papers in a 6×16 matrix and creates sequential and random movement patterns in the matrix using wind from computer cooling fans. Each fan is placed right behind the papers and operated independently, receiving signals from a microcontroller. Since the top of the papers is fixed with thumbtacks, the bottom of the papers ruffles in the wind, fluttering out when the fan is on and back when it’s off. 

As for the movement patterns, there are 10 different patterns applied in this work. While some of them are composed of arbitrary selection in the paper matrix, some patterns, such as the checkerboard pattern, are regular and organized in terms of formation. Other sequential patterns create horizontal or vertical traces, utilizing rows and columns. These 10 patterns are played alternately between a predetermined order and random choice. 

All of the materials used in Breeze are stationery items in everyday life, such as binder clips, note papers, and thumbtacks, and they form a contextual connection with one another. The frame of the work is made of wood, and in particular, the top part of the frame is constructed with laser-cut wood boxes. The boxes are joined with the binder clips. 

This work is an exploration of natural and uncontrollable movement generated by the winds and how to incorporate this naturalness into a digital system. The movement of the papers in this work cannot be thoroughly manipulated even though the system gives identical commands. The on/off initiated from the microcontroller inevitably produces erratic movement due to the flexibility of the papers. By adding this uncontrollability and uncertainty to the rigid binary system of on/off, Breeze examines the decimal place, which constructs nature, beyond fixed 0 and 1.

Created using 1 x Arduino UNO, 6 PWM/Servo drivers, 96 MOSFET transistor modules and 8 terminal blocks (to supply power to each fan).

Project Page | Boyoung Lee

See also ‘Flow’ by Studio Roosegaarde (2007), ‘Breeze‘ by Djeff (2009), the work of Breakfast NY and Nils Voelker.