Wind and kites

Flying a kite is both an eventful and meditative activity at the same time. The wind is unpredictable and can direct the kite in sudden directions and cause the kite to crash land. At other times the wind provides a steady flow, for the kite to stay endless in the air, only shifting sideways slightly, minute pressure changes on the cloth.

This site presents two works that make music from kites: V.L.I.G. and Wind instruments.

Kiting at Artefact - the second weekend

The second weekend at Artefact starts off with a sunny Friday, great weather for kiting on the roof. I am joined by Frouke Wiarda - who can take over the kite for a while, so I can listen at the Queen's Balcony lying on the pillowphones. And make recordings for documentation. This day, we use the longest wire that we have, and have the kite go up high - to hopefully more stable wind streams. Towards 5pm there is a sudden lack of wind, and the kite goes down - too fast for us to keep it up in the air and it lands in a tree in a neighbouring garden. Thanks to Frouke we are able to get it back.

The Saturday the weather is rainy and cold, and the wind is unpredictable - both in direction and strength. I cannot get the kite in the air for long.

On Saturday night I join the Music Hacklab'ers and prepare my smallest kite - the kite I flew when I was young, which is particularly good for strong winds.

On Sunday, the weather is still rainy and cold, but the wind is slightly more predictable in its direction. I can get the small kite up for some time, although I still have to fight with it.

Summary of the weekend: 3 broken kite sticks, and a reputation of the most persistent artist of the festival - prevailing against the cold and wet weather.

Sun, 21 February, 2016

Kite repairs

In between the two weekends of Artefact, I have to make some kite repairs - the rooftop has a very rough surface and much of the dacron has sheared off and the corners need repairs. I also need to get some new sticks at the kite shop to replace broken ones and to have some spare ones.

I also take the time to integrate the pressure sensor into the kites - to make it faster to switch between kites, not having to remove the pressure sensor and wiring.

Finally, I bring out an old kite and fix the broken sticks that it has - it's a small kite that is made for stormy weather. And inspired on the model, I make another small kite, though when I try it out on the roof later, it seems to need adjustments before it can be steady in the sky.

Thu, 18 February, 2016

Kiting at Artefact - Day 3

The third day at Artefact it seems slightly less rainy, although the roof is still wet. Again everything packed rain-tight, we go up. The wind is coming from the North, which is good - as STUK's building is not blocking the wind then.

I try the delta kite first, but am not lucky in getting it up for long - even if it goes up in the air, when it reaches a certain height, it has trouble staying stable and crash-lands quite often.

After a while the wind is getting stronger, and I decide to switch kite and use the hata again. I take care to avoid the kite to lie flat on the roof, to avoid that it gets wet. With the stronger wind, the dry kite, it seems easy to get it up in the air. The hata is stable and I can even attach it to the anchor a couple of times, so I don't need to hold the kite all the time.

Switching out the pressure sensor is tricky while on the roof, so I plan for the next week to integrate the pressure sensor into both kites, so it will be just a matter of exchanging the tail and plugging in the pressure sensor.

The wind looses strength only a few times, where the kite starts floating down, and I can't save it and keep it up in the air - and I have to change the battery once for the sensors during the afternoon.

At 5pm the wind seems to get less again, and since it is time, and it is cold, I pack up again.

A week ahead to do kite repairs and improvements for the harsh conditions and review the sensor board packaging.

Sun, 14 February, 2016

Kiting at Artefact - Day 2

The second day at Artefact it rains as 2 o'clock approaches - we decide to wait for an hour, when the rain is supposed to stop - of course, we are not so lucky and at 3 we decide to go up on the roof after all. I have prepared the equipment so that we only need to take up what is really needed, and everything is carefully packed so no water reaches the electronics.

The large hata kite gets wet rather soon, and seems too heavy to get up - I get the small delta out; that one is easier to manage, though I only get it up in the air for short times. The wind is again coming from the east side, so has to go around the highest part of the STUK building. Given that the kite is much heavier as it is wet, the little wind there is cannot keep it up for long.

Sat, 13 February, 2016