Texture of Energy

Installation, Prototype

Rokko Meets Art 2019


Texture of Energy is comprised of multiple outdoor lighting modules that are powered by their gentle swaying motion in the wind. Capturing this surrounding kinetic energy, the piece produces fluctuating light patterns that resemble fireflies flickering in the darkness.

The light modules are long, thin devices resembling reeds stuck in the ground that stand about 2 meters tall. At the tip of each reed is an origami-inspired wind-catching structure that causes them to sway gently. This movement is converted by a piezoelectric element into current to power a single led atop the wind catcher, producing soft glimmers of light. On a windy outdoor evening, the movement and flickering of the lights reveal the flow of hidden energy within the surrounding environment.

We have long been seeking ways of designing artifacts that offer an evocative yet naturalistic approach to lighting in order to reveal some hidden, intrinsic aspect of light. Moving away from electric outlets which supply stable and uniform energy, we make use of the wind as a power source to create irregular fluctuations of light that resemble patterns and rhythms usually seen in natural phenomena.

Originally created for the "Rokko Meets Art 2019" festival in Japan, the installation was exhibited on the hillside of Mt. Rokko, within a valley where the wind and natural elements could be highlighted to their fullest. The modules were built to be lightweight and portable, allowing them to be installed in any outdoor setting. Unlike pinwheels or turbines, they do not make use of rotating blades that can be either easily damaged or dangerous to living creatures and the surrounding environment.