FLOW

A song written by the wind and waves

Kinetic Installation

Plastic

“The universe has already written the poem you are about to write.” Flow generates a feeling of tranquility in the viewers by catalyzing a deeper connection with nature. The moving parts of this kinetic installation come together as a whole to recreate the experience of staring out at the ocean on a beach.

How can we use physical forces in nature to inform works of art? How can we recreate experiences that nature has already given us in a way that is meaningful to share?

 

These are some of the broader questions Flow tries to address. The ocean is a shared experience with so much individual meaning. Most people find staring out at the ocean and listening to its waves calming. Some people meditate, some play with their dog, some take romantic walks while others just gaze at the sky. We all share a connection to the beautiful blue nature has given us yet we all experience it differently. Is it possible to recreate that in a setting that is more artificial? If so, would it be possible to regenerate those feelings of tranquility?

Every photograph of this piece is different from any other, just like how no two photographs of the ocean would ever be the same.

Process: 

There were several preliminary studies that led to Flow in its final state. It began with a series of sketches that aimed to understand wave phenomena and motion.

The original idea was to have a piece of fabric be controlled by a grid of motors that would lead to a wave-like motion. That was meant to be an experiment into how integrating technology with physical material can help in creating the experience I had hoped for.

After a series of short studies, this appeared to be unnatural and artificial and it did not quite have the same effect as I had anticipated. It was then I decided to test what a lightweight material would look like under the influence of wind.

The result looked something like this:

It was beautiful. The feeling of watching the wind take over was mesmerizing yet soothing. It is incredible how often we neglect simple movements that are around us. I knew then the way this needed to be constructed and installed. Using plastic was part of a larger commentary that I wanted to make on how ironic is seemed to me that a material can so beautifully render the same thing (the ocean) that it has potential to destroy.

 

Nature is out there waiting to be discovered. I felt my work become a catalyst and bridge people’s emotions and nature’s wonders.

© 2018 by Reet Agrawal