Whithervanes: a neurotic early worrying system

Spending much of our lives connected digitally, we are as affected by the 'weather' on the internet as in the sky. Folkestone has its share of weathervanes, but Cézanne Charles and John Marshall's Whithervanes track the orchestration of fear in real time through monitoring newsfeeds for alarmist keywords. The five headless chickens revolve away from the geographic origin of each story, indicating the intensity of fear through changing colored lighting and the number of rotations each Whithervane makes. The image of the headless chicken perfectly expresses the sense of panic that corporations and governments use to keep consumer-citizens acquiescent. Tweet @whithervanes #keepcalm (to reduce) #skyfalling (to increase) the fear level.


Cézanne Charles + John Marshall founded and co-direct the hybrid design studio, rootoftwo. They make social objects, experiences, and works in the public realm. Their works specifically attempt to disrupt and undermine the systems at work through humor, play, interaction and participation. They explore how context informs and transforms behavior, interactions and relationships. rootoftwo's works create a condition where the here and now and the future can be perceived differently. rootoftwo.com


The Folkestone Triennial is one of the most ambitious public art projects presented in the UK. Located in the seaside town of Folkestone on the south-east coast of England, artists are invited to use the town as their ‘canvas’, utilising public spaces to create striking new pieces that reflect issues affecting both the town and the wider world. The 2014 Triennial is curated by Lewis Biggs under the theme Lookout. For more information on the triennial visit folkestonetriennial.org.uk.


rootoftwo would like to thank Travis Martin, Aaron Willette, Jason Prasad, David Brusstar, Alexander Watanabe and Matt Rowe for their assistance with this project. Thanks also to Ashley Light Engineering, Joint Electrical, Christopher Hore Chartered Engineers and our site partners - The Cube, Leas Cliff Hall, Martello Tower No. 3, The Red Cow Pub and Rocksalt.

Whithervanes was realized with support from