Grass & Bottle wind vanes positioned in grid
Initial setup for grid
Grid from above
In an effort to investigate and reveal the winds movements on the site, I determined to make a number of wind vanes.
Utilizing empty beer and soft drink bottles found discarded on site and the long meadow grass I created simple wind vanes.
Seedhead acts as wind vane’s tail.
The grass stalk is bent once to create a pointer.
Second bend secured by wrapping the grasses blade around junction creates a vertical axis.
Hole cut in bullseye of Bionade bottle top to keep grass central in bottle.
Bionade – a natural organic non-alcoholic refreshment – seems the soft drink of choice in Berlin and discarded caps could be picked up all over the wasteland.
The other Berlin drink of choice!
A small amount of sand in the bottom of the bottle keeps grass stem central rather than sliding down the dome in the bottle’s base causing the grass to lean.
After leaving Mobile Research Station No. 1, I am continuing to observe and record clouds at http://nephology.eu
The wasteland area around Mobile Research Station No. 1 will be the site of a series of experiments and investigations into the flow of air – the winds effect on the environment and the environments effect on the wind.
Quicktime file – click link
The first guise of Berlin’s Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart was erected in 1961 by the German Democratic Republic to stem the exodus of its citizens to the West, for between 1948 and August 1962 nearly three million East Germans had escaped from the harsh policies to the West though the Berlin loophole.
On two short trips to Berlin in 2008, I visited the couple of remnants that are generally known; the rest seemed to have completely disappeared from the streets of Berlin (with a few sections accessioned to museums around the world). The public memory of an endless border with watchtowers at regular intervals and floodlights continuously illuminating the border at night was no longer present.
In the summer of 2009, having been invited by Simon Faithfull to spend time researching in Mobile Research Unit no.1 at the Berlin Skulpturenpark – itself occupying vacant plots left by the removal of the Wall – I became fascinated with the remnants I had previously overlooked.
Using the Berliner Mauerweg as my primary guide I set out to cycle the ~160km of the former Wall’s path and see traces remaining there today. Yet my pursuit quickly devolved into something else: a gentle four day ride on a borrowed bike turned into a several week mission involving archives, museums, history books, autobiographies, conversations with government officials and with strangers. Following the officially signposted Berliner Mauerweg and then taking detours based on the evidence I stumbled across, experiencing the interstices not discussed by the tourist and general history guides, to look at the Berlin today 20 years after the fall of the wall, to feel the distance of pedal on ground.
extract from Grounds (Berliner Mauer) article commissioned for You Are Here (November 2009) on Broken Dimanche Press. Text accompanied with photographs.
I’m working to create a nano-sized grain of sand, to be buried in a desert.
The Research Station is commissioned by SKULPTURENPARK BERLIN_ZENTRUM for their project Wunderland. The station can be found on the open ground between Seydelstr and Beuthstr
Researchers include: Esther Polak (Amsterdam) 18-22 Aug, Annika Lundgren (Gothenburg/Berlin) 17-21 Aug, Martin John Callanan (London) 24-30 Aug, Katie Paterson (London) 31 Aug - 6 Sep, Nick Crowe & Ian Rawlinson (Manchester/Berlin) 5-10 Sep, Simon Faithfull (Berlin/London) 11-14 Sep, Tim Knowles (London) 15-19 Sep
Research Communications Day
Findings will be presented at the Research Station at 20:00 on Sunday 20 September 2009