An anemometer constantly measures the speed of the wind at Jaywick Martello Tower on the Essex Coast. This data is linked to a computer controlled video that responds to changes in wind speed. The resulting video can be viewed in the tower and is also available to view on-line (www.windscale.net) as a time elapsed film generated over the previous 24 hours.
The affect of the wind on the video takes the form of an interference pattern based on the Beaufort Wind Scale. The Beaufort Scale is a visual way of estimating wind speed according to the appearance of the sea. It was fist developed by Sir Francis Beaufort in 1805 and has since been adopted as a standard scale by sailors and meteorologists around the world. There are thirteen discreet speeds each with an official description ranging from;
“Force 0- Calm – Sea like a mirror”
“Force 12-Hurricane- The air is filled with foam and spray. Visibility very seriously affected”
Rob Smith’s WINDscale takes its cues from the Beaufort Scale and makes connections between real environmental conditions and the images that are produced, presenting an ephemeral image that allows itself to be affected by the random affects of the wind over a period of time.
WINDscale will be installed at Jaywick until September 2008 and the project will develop over the next year through resedencies as it is installed at three other venues in Shanghai, Southampton Water and Hackney Wick, East London.
WINDscale can be viewed as a dynamic desktop wallpaper on your computer. Once installed the application will download images from windscale onto your desktop giving you a live link to the site.