Large objects are moving the air

Frouke Wiarda still from film Wind machine
Frouke Wiarda still from film Wind machine
Frouke Wiarda still from film Wind machine

Why did I started this project? Time to look back where it came from;-) – Frouke Wiarda


It is spring on Kefalonia, Greece, in 2018. I am participating in an artistic research project with several artists exploring the meaning of sound and space. The island of Kefalonia boasts an impressive raw history, with ancient tombs from pre-Christian times everywhere. Moving forward in time, one encounters a small fishing port where an inflatable boat, carrying refugees, recently sank off the coast.


While my colleagues mostly stay by the sea, I head for the center of the island with my camera and sound equipment. Initially passing through majestic pine forests, I soon reach the bare mountains with low vegetation, leaving all the villages behind. In the middle of the island, atop the hills, I discover a battalion of wind turbines – contemporary giant monumental instruments. These machines harvest the wind, pointing to a world of possibilities such as sustainability, innovation, and mechanical precision. With their constant universal movement and slow, percussive shadows, they hum and transform the hills into a place of fiction. Their sound moves invisibly through the air, connecting me to them. I wonder if they can talk with the wind and if they ever harbor doubts and if their white blades are like hair. They are as much wind as they are a thing.


The ancient tombs have a story, the wind turbines do not (yet), but are only seen as a machine that converts the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy. Yet, in this place, surrounded by these white giants, it feels like they connect the place with the wind, and in that movement, they are always on their way to becoming something else.


I am with John Cage. ‘Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise,’ he wrote in 1937. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating.

Media Art Friesland 2023

TTPEtienne-Jules Marey


Saturday February 18  2023


An Afternoon with Air, organized by TTP


‘Theme Night’ XTRA


15:00 – 16:30 seminar/discussion


Even though the universe is expanding and vacuum space increasing, the air around us in our atmosphere is very material. Hard to grasp, ephemeral, escaping our propensity to categorize our world in discrete tangible objects, air is incredible dynamic, full of life and non-life, inspiring our world. Inspire, a word conventionally used to refer to a mental quality, the objective of this afternoon is to discuss a different kind of understanding, to confront the dichotomous nature of the way in which modern societies classify our world, mind-body; hardware-software; art-science. Air defies this kind of objectification and is the perfect place to put our bodies in to explore such issues.


The discussion is an open platform and several guests will be present to provide thoughtful insights on the topic.

Our guests are Simon Penny professor in Electronic Art and Design (Dept of Art) at University of California, Irvine and Annet Dekker is curator and researcher and currently Assistant Professor Archival and Information Studies, and Comparative Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam and Visiting Professor at the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image at London South Bank University. This is a hybrid event.


Monday February 13 

Theme Nights – Nothing changes – The Turbine Plays (TTP) – Panel Member


Image Etienne-Jules Marey

Inclined plane, 30 degree angle, 

fourth and last version of the smoke machine, equipped

with 57 channels, 1901


Paris, © Cinémathèque française 


Review Kick-off event 13 december 2022

At the kick-off event on Tuesday 13 December 2022 at the EnTranCe | Centre of Expertise Energy Barn, researchers from Knowledge Centre Arts & Society and Centre of Expertise Energy of Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen and other partners presented an initial collaboration plan of The Turbine Plays project.

This kick-off brought together the first set of vieszpoints; the arts, energy professionals, innovative companies and new technologies about current progress in these areas. You could immediately see/taste/hear what The Turbine Plays is about: a transdisciplinary, artistically driven project that imaginatively connects energy professionals, citizens, heritage professionals, artists and musicians.

Many thanks to the inspiring talks of: Jan Jaap Aué, Dorothea van der Meulen, Frouke Wiarda, Judith van der Elst, Gerard Schepers, Wim Elving, Marije Baalman, Neil Davey, Rudmer Zwerver, Johannes van der Steen, Zoro Feigl, Mira Sanders en Cédric Noël, Guy van Bella and live-music of Anne la Berge & Bart de Vrees.


Many thanks to our best inspiring moderator Wilbert van de Kamp.


Programme Kick-off event tuesday 13th of december 2022

The Turbine Plays will showcase its first collaboration plan at the kick-off event on Tuesday 13th December 2022 at EnTranCe in the Energy Barn in Groningen. ‘The Turbine Plays’ is organised by Knowledge Centre Arts & Society and Centre of Expertise Energy. The Turbine Plays is designed around questions such as: How can public involvement and acceptance be stimulated in the transition from fossil to renewable energy sources, such as wind energy? What contribution can creative professionals make in a process of knowledge production on wind energy together with various stakeholders? Anyone who is curious about where creative professionals and scientists can take us in the landscape transition and wants to increase their knowledge in this field is welcome to attend the kick-off in the Energy Barn. The projectThe Turbine Plays is an artistic-driven research project initiated by Frouke Wiarda and further developed in collaboration with Judith van der Elst.

Several speakers, artists, musicians and researchers will contribute. An overview is given below. The day will be led by Wilbert van de Kamp (moderator of the day).

Schermafbeelding 2022-12-07 om 16.35.57

Date:            Tuesday, 13 December 2022
Time:            11:00 am to 4:00 pm (including lunch), walk-in from 10:30 am.
Location:       Energy Barn, Zernikelaan 17 in Groningen


Jan-Jaap Aué

Dean Centre of Expertise Energy en lector waterstoftoepassingen bij Hanzehogeschool Groningen


Dorothea van der Meulen

Dean Academie Minerva bij Hanzehogeschool Groningen


Frouke Wiarda

Founder of The Turbine Plays, Interdisciplinair kunstproject vernieuwer en geluidskunstenaar


Judith van der Elst

Onderzoeker bij Kenniscentrum Kunst & Samenleving bij Hanzehogeschool Groningen en coördinator knowledge utilization The Turbine Plays


Gerard Schepers

Professor Wind Energy bij Centre of Expertise Energy bij Hanzehogeschool Groningen


Wim Elving

Lector Communication, Behaviour & the Sustainable Society bij Hanzehogeschool Groningen


Marije Baalman

Kunstenaar, onderzoeker die werkt met interactie, geluid, licht en code en schrijver van het boek “Composing Interactions – An Artist’s Guide to Building Expressive Interactive Systems”


Neil Davey

Fotograaf en onderzoeker bij Oslo Metropolitan University, Department of Art, Design and Drama


Rudmer Zwerver

Oprichter Faunatech, innovatieve ecologische veldonderzoeken


Johannes van der Steen

Onderzoeker Circular product design bij NHL Stenden Hogeschool Leeuwarden


Anne la Berge & Bart de Vrees

Speciaal voor de Kick-off geven zij een kort concert/improvisatie


Zoro Feigl

Kunstenaar die zich voornamelijk toelegt op kinetische kunst


Mira Sanders en Cedric Noël

Kunstenaarsduo over fricties via ruimtelijke verhalen


Guy van Bella

Promotor IPEM’s ArtScienceInteractionLab (ASIL)

Newsletter Kick-off event tuesday 13th of december 2022

Our Kick-off event on Tuesday 13 December 2022 will be at EnTranCe at the Energy Barn in Groningen.



Datum:                Dinsdag 13 december 2022

Tijd:                     11:00 tot 16:00 uur (inclusief lunch), inloop vanaf 10:30 uur.

Locatie:               Energy Barn, Zernikelaan 17 in Groningen


The Turbine Plays – where the Arts, the Energy sector and Citizens work together

How can public engagement and acceptance be encouraged in the transition from fossil to renewable energy sources, such as wind power? What contribution can creative professionals make in a process of knowledge production about wind energy together with various stakeholders? These are the questions on which the research project ‘The Turbine Plays’ focuses. This 2-year project has been awarded a KIEM grant by Regieorgaan SIA and is a collaboration between Kenniscentrum Kunst & Samenleving and Centre of Expertise Energy, EnTranCe.


Artistic research project

The project The Turbine Plays is an artistic-driven research project, initiated by Frouke Wiarda and further developed in collaboration with Judith van der Elst, in which artists, researchers from the energy sector and citizens work together within energy test site EnTranCe. Gradually, it is being investigated how the creative sector, can play a connecting and innovative role in the approach and knowledge creation around energy issues. Each other’s tools, methods and data are being explored, exchanged and examined to see whether this is also a way to mobilise public support for wind energy in a new, unexpected way.


Instruments for sound, energy and knowledge

The Turbine Plays originated from the idea that artists also use instruments to capture, interpret and communicate data from their surroundings. A wind instrument, for example, is a direct translation of air movements into sounds. Wind instruments can be small-scale like within an orchestra, but can also be used on a landscape scale, to measure and to experience. Visual perceptions, musical experiences and the resulting data can lend a different perspective to the knowledge developed around wind.


Goal is a sustainable future

Together : the aim is to make a positive contribution to an innovative and sustainable future for all. Because the Dutch landscape is constantly changing; wind has always played a defining role in it. The question is how we want to shape it now.