Fast Company

Watch The Waves Of Alaska, Thousands Of Miles Away

A sculpture that moves based on transmitted data about wave height is a technological marvel, but also asks deeper questions about how we relate to the natural world.

Living in cities, far removed from things like oceans and forests, we can become a little disconnected from the natural world. But with a little help from robotics and the internet, maybe we can bring a little nature into our urban places.

That's what Tele-presence Water--a sculpture by David Bowen currently installed in The National Museum in Wroclaw, Poland--does. It's fed information about the wave patterns in Alaska from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's data buoy station 46246, and then it replicates them while suspended above the musem's floor:

It's mesmerizing to watch, and not just because it's a floating mass of undulating yellow tubes. The incongruity of the organic water motions contrasted with the modern construction of the museum makes you stop for a moment and question your relationship to nature, even if only for a second.

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