Parallelotree and the Mechanical Wind
drinking straws, sewing pins, acrylic, motor, wood, steel
This machine plays back wind recordings. The white acrylic shape encodes 23 seconds of wind velocity data. During playback the data is actualized through a swaying “tree”. The tree is made of plastic drinking straws pinned precisely together so as to form parallelograms. I created this piece as both a sculpture and a prototype for a large public artwork.
Parallelotree and the Mechanical Wind recreates a fundamental scene from nature: a tree swaying in the wind. When we observe this scene in a meadow, or when we look out over the ocean, or examine the night sky, we find intrinsic beauty. Why? Has it been etched into our genetic makeup? Is it a sense that exists in our soul? And, more importantly, what is lost when such natural beauty is not present in our lives?
Cities use public art as a foil to the oppressiveness of their concrete grid. Such foils are necessary because cities arise at the expense of nature. Can a man-made object help recoup the loss? Perhaps not, but in creating this piece I strove for that ideal. Empowered by an actual recording from nature, Parallelotree attempts to imbue its viewers with the same sense of peace that exists beyond the city’s reach.