What is the feeling of becoming the wind, an invisible power with a visible physical effect on trees? Will you cherish the leafs, or will you trigger a hurricane? B-wind!

In B-wind, users have the opportunity to play an invisible character, the wind, with the impressive visible consequences. The performative potential and the human scale motivate a choreographic approach that raises awareness on space and on the poetry of movement, whereas simultaneously empowering the users by demonstrating a real immediate interaction effect. Users are invisible, the physical presence being subtracted from the visual interface, and the result of their actions is presented in the real-time video through emphasized visual effects.

B-wind works with realtime graphics for responsive and expressive wind effects, as if translating motion into abstract poetry. This proposal is connected to the motto of the “butterfly effect”, for the wind waves provoked by the subtle flickering have the “hurricane effect” in a remote place.
A prototyped component includes the power to apply the wind effect to the forest itself – the motion tracking in the installation having a real amplified effect on the real trees and in real-time, by remotely controlling a wind generator, making the wind effect visible. Confronted with such possibilities, multiple questions arose during the user experience: is this pleasant, is it strange? Will the participants “spread the wings” and feel the freedom to cherish the trees? Will they explore the superpower of generating wind, somehow “competing against the machine”? Or, as children, exploding in energy, will they join the celebration of nature without processing causes or consequences – just being?... the wind!

Technically, B-wind is realized as two interconnected installation spaces. The first one presents the user with a projection of a live video stream of a remote forest space. A camera records the user's body motion in real-time and a custom video processing software written in openFrameworks and openCV analyses this motion data and uses it to graphically render realtime graphical effects showing the user's influence over the live video stream.
Simultaneously, it sends control signals to wind generators in the remote forest location. At the remote location, custom software receives the network control signals and forwards them to an electronic circuit that controls the power and motions of the wind generators. A video stream is captured at the remote location and is streamed in real-time to the installation space and decoded on site using a custom GStreamer pipeline.

B-wind! was born in the context of RTiVISS, a research project with a strong dimension of social and natural sciences. Combined with New Media, and with a challenging technological component, B-wind! aims to contribute for the design of a better world.

System Architecture
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B-wind! [v2.0] interactive installation generic version


B-wind! [v1.0] version presented at "AZ labs @ O Espaço do Tempo" exhibition

B-wind! A RTiVISS* experience


Real-Time Video Interactive Systems for Sustainability

AZ Labs @ O Espaço do Tempo
Exhibition website »

AZ residency @ O Espaço do Tempo








AMARAL, Bruno, FIGUEIREDO, RIta [2007], Blow me, installation, Prémio Mapa, Universidade Católica

GONÇALVES, André [2007], I Thought Some Daisies Might Cheer You Up, installation, Interactivos?, Media Lab Madrid

MADEIRA, Rui [2009], Parque, interactive installation, Parque da Paz – Almada, Portugal

SOMMERER, Christa, MIGNONNEAU, Laurent, [1993], "Interactive Plant Growing", ZKM – Center for Art and Media

WATSON, Theodore, GOBEILLE, Emily, [2009], Funky Forest - Interactive Ecosystem

WOOLFORD, Kirk, [from 2008], Shooting the Wind

WOOLFORD, Kirk, [2007], Will.0.W1sp – Installation Overview, ACM, Proceedings of the 15th international conference on Multimedia, Augsburg, Germany, pp. 379-380

WOOLFORD, Kirk[2008], Bhaptic

O'SHEA, Chris [2009] Hand from Above, written using openFrameworks and openCV

Robô de Detecção de Incêndios Florestais
Ano Europeu da Criatividade e Inovação





B-wind fan control current prototype and circuit


Working fan prototype | Motion tracking

AZ residency | Part I

Real-Time Video workshop Xtension


AZ residency | Part II


B-wind! live @ O Espaço do Tempo | Exhibition Archive