Weather-sensitive fabric sculpture offers a multi-sensory experience for arts center visitors.
It’s not a smart fabric, exactly, but it seems to behave like one. Artist John Grade has created a kinetic sculptural installation that moves in response to the weather—information collected on the roof of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wis., where the sculpture is installed.
Visitors are invited to interact with the installation, or rest in the curl of its giant fabric curvature to observe the sculpture’s movement in response to both current weather conditions and weather patterns from the past 100 years. A mechanized controller sends the information about change in wind intensity and temperature directly to the sculpture. “The whole of the sculpture will appear to be very slowly breathing,” says the artist. The 100 structural components in the artwork illuminate and dim when there is a fluctuation in temperature; shifts in the wind are indicated by motion.