Whithervane is a new work for the public realm – a network of five headless chickens. These 21st Century weather vanes are controlled by the climate of fear on the Internet. They will be presented within sight of each other on the highest points of five buildings.
The Whithervanes parse newsfeeds looking for predetermined keywords related to fear (e.g. natural disaster, economic collapse, war, etc.) When fear is encountered the chickens respond by rotating away at increasing speeds from fear hotspots and illuminating different colors triggered by specific levels of fear.
The Whithervanes are connected to each other via the internet. They share real time newsfeed data from around the World with each other. On any given day the preoccupations of the World’s media will cause them to be ‘blown’ around according to what is occurring. This will manifest as an emergent group behavior among the ‘flock’. Passersby can influence this group behavior by escalating or calming individual Whithervanes. In turn, this behavior will influence the rest of the array.
An array of 5 Whithervanes that communicate with each other, the cloud and the public. While this work is intentionally humorous, we hope the public become conscious of how much our contemporary media, policy and political frameworks utilize fear as a persuasive method.
The public can influence the individual Whithervanes by interacting with them via a smartphone app. They can add to the escalation of fear or attempt to counteract it by sending the messages “The sky is falling!” or “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
Whithervane illumination consists of five color-coded fear levels:
We are currently in pre-production of this work (to debut in 2014).