Friday, March 6, 2009

Windvinder, Expedition to the Origin of the Wind

Windvinder 2005


Turbine blades

Windvinder launched

Windvinder sailing

The Bridge, an earlier project

all photographs courtesy Wipke  Iwersen

This is an amazing project which crosses the boundaries of contemporary art, science, anti science, anthropology, philosophy and fiction. In a sense it is a real fiction, a concrete dream, a three dimensional wish. Artist Wipke Iwersen has generated a Borges like expedition that almost defies explanation. The Windvinder is immensely beautiful and seems well designed to achieve it's goal, while that goal itself is nebulous and slippery. Wipke designed and built the craft, a sort of trimaran, which seems to be based on proa(Wipke calls the boat he, in typical proa fashion) and traditional kayak skin on frame building technology. It's method of propulsion is a wind turbine. At first glance I thought this was a sort of joke, but really, I know better, so I dug in and found what seems to be a profound/trivial paradox, and a lot of fun. I won't say anymore, because this kind of art is different for everyone who encounters it, and I've already colored your perceptions too much.  But I will leave you with some of the artists words:

"Windvinder is a seafaring challenge. A challenge to everything that has always remained the same – the suggestion of a new possibility. And this is exactly what this journey is about: this pull from beyond the horizon.
What makes us move? What drives us to push back our boundaries, further and further, beyond what is necessary or even seems possible? Why do people risk their lives to reach the North Pole, or the moon? Nobody would want to live there.
But what then do they want?

Windvinder does not travel from A to B; he is on a voyage to explore what drives him, towards the source of that invisible power that keeps his wings moving."

On reflection, I feel this is an important work and urge anyone capable of doing so to support this artist.
I will add one interesting note, one of the sponsors of the project is Dyson, Baidarka & Co.  

ps: added Saturday, 3/7/09; Bjorn Thommasson has also written about this project here.

I should also add that I learned of this project from Carl Cramer in the Woodenboat e-newsletter for March 2009. Thanks Carl.


Enter Miles said...

What an incredible project. I've never seen this before. It is awsome!
Thanks for this post.

Thomas Armstrong said...

peter, I thought you might appreciate this.

Anonymous said...

Her work is breathtaking. The only thing that makes you wonder if this is not just a dream is the photography which is as artistic as the project itself, but is also reminiscent of a BIG FOOT sighting. I fear her own artist ethic may be the one thing that keeps people from taking this seriously. Of course the the concept alone is genius so who cares! Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

Truly inspirational,

Anonymous said...

Did I just dream......or was this real?
Totally out of this world.

will said...

beautiful, mysterious, spiritual, NUTS too but in a wonderful way. thanks for this