Does waving of your hands in Shanghai set off a hurricane in New York?
On a big LED screen, floating particles visualize the real-time wind data in New York. When people stand in front of the screen, butterflies will appear. When people wave their hands, it will cause a perturbation of particles.
This installation was inspired by the subject of Edward Lorenz’s talk in 1972, Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas? The Butterfly Effect has become widely understood as the concept that small causes can have large effects.
We are artists and technologists based in New York, at the opposite end of the earth from Shanghai. This installation enables audiences in Shanghai to interact with New York weather data on the screen in real-time. It's an exploration of the question: how could individuals impact the world?
The installation was commissioned for Infinite International Digital Art Exhibition in Shanghai, China.