Land & Time


A generative ambient visualization of weather and seismic activity throughout the state of Utah, prepared to overlay on top of video loops to be played in the lobby of the new Utah Natural History Museum. The concept of the piece is to highlight the eternally active natural processes which have created and continue to modify the diverse topography of Utah. The wall on which the visualization is projected reflects the asymmetrical nature of the canyons found in the state. The video loops displayed reveal the contours left by wind and water, and the diverse geology found in varying parts of the state. The visualization is overlaid on the video, adding a real-time component where the current climate and seismic conditions of areas in Utah are represented as generative particle systems influenced by the weather conditions.

I was brought in to the project by Narduli Studio, the creators of the final artwork, in order to design and develop the particle systems which would visualize the live conditions. They needed something diverse and graphic, that would allude to the current weather condition but wouldn't be as literal or pedagogical a representation. The visualization needed to be dynamic and visible when overlaid on all different types of video loops. I developed different types of motion behaviors and varying qualities to each weather condition which could be tweaked in a spreadsheet. The different weather conditions display numeric information about the area, including the latitude and longitude of the current location, wind speed, temperature, and humidity.

Live seismic data is read from a number of seismometer stations throughout the Utah area, and plotted as a waveform along the bottom of the wall. The more active the region, the greater the amplitude of the wave. The software switches between weather locations every 20 seconds and switches seismometer locations every 5 minutes.