Waves on Sea and Land

Waves on Sea and Land, 2015
By Mark J. Stock
A generative art installation

Waves on Sea and Land is a real-time artwork which uses live wind data from the Harbor Islands and techniques from computational physics to recreate two essential wind-driven motions of the islands.

Every 10 minutes, a computer inside this pavilion submits an Internet request to a weather station at Hull, Massachusetts, for the wind speed and direction in the Harbor. That data is then used to drive the two computer simulations seen on the screens. For one minute, computational blades of grass bend and flutter in a virtual wind; the next minute numerical water waves travel across the screen. The actual wind on the harbor, from calm to strong, is reflected in the activity and motion of the two simulations.

The Harbor Islands are always in flux; wind and tides scour and deposit sand and sediment, shorelines move, while grasses and wildlife adapt to their dynamic environment. Waves on Sea and Land reflects these timeless yet ephemeral forces with a never-ending, never- repeating simulation of two patterns of motion etched into the memories of the islands’ visitors.