Project: Stern des Südens
Date: November 2009 - January 2010
Client: Pendry Artlab Gmbh
Partner: Siemens / Traxon
Location: Munich

The Munich based artist Michael Pendry asked MESO to join in his ambitious project to turn a wind turbine into the biggest glowing christmas star ever. The selected wind turbine was prominently located along the A9 next to the Allianz Arena in Munich. Michael Pendry challenged MESO to develop a system for displaying moving graphics on the wheels of the engine. MESO helped Pendry to find specialists for LED-technology and developed motion graphics, a 3d-simulation and a playback and scheduling system for the content.

Siemens specialists glued over 9000 Traxon DotXL RGB LEDs to the blades of the engine and connected them to a eCue DVI interface box.

Within only a few weeks MESO developed the playback concept and programmed the vvvv based software.

To be able to sense the exact position of the wheel at any time, MESO developed a optical sensor system attached to the magnets of the power generator. Additional sensors were devised for measuring orientation of the turbine. As the project was a temporary installation, no changes to the power generator or control electronics of the turbine could be made, the whole sensor system needed to work without touching any moving parts. After careful consideration a computer running vvvv was lifted up into the sky and mounted inside the rotating center hub of the turbine. A Wifi-based VNC connection allowed convenient vvvv-patching on the rotating computer in a campmobile next to the wind engine.

"Stern des Südens" is not only an innovative piece of multimedia art but also another example for energy efficiency on MESO´s project list, the little energy needed to light all LEDs is generated directly by the wind turbine.

More at the Siemens Press Archive:

or here:

The MESO Team: Sebastian Oschatz, Max Wolf, Ingolf Heinsch, Alexander Graf, Andreas Brendle

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