Wafting Whispers

Let the wind bring you to me.
Wafting Whispers (2023) is an interactive augmented reality art experience to connect nomadic souls, where embodied selves autonomously wafting over digital winds driven by climate data of physical world; forming an spatial-social network state.


By Botao Amber Hu, Fangting.

November 19, 2023.


Introducing "Wafting Whispers," an avant-garde interactive art social experiment, which establishes a nomadic spatial-social network within the augmented reality (AR) medium. As digital nomads navigate different destinations, they can impart and whisper their thoughts to the AR app, crafting AI representations that mirror their emotional and mental state at a specific time and place. These embodied AI creations, forming a HERE and PRESENT moment version of digital nomads themselves, termed "essences" within our platform, are minted on the blockchain and visualized as lively, engaging sound-reactive blobs within the augmented atmosphere of cityscapes. These digital essences would meander through the augmented urban topology, guided by "the will of nature," meaning they are propelled by the "on-chain digital wind," a real-time representation of winds and air currents derived from data of real-world atmospheric physics, regarded as digital physics in the autonomous world engine. Subsequently, through the AR app, fellow digital nomad can encounter and interact with these essences, conversing with the AI semblances of individuals from ANOTHER locale and a PRIOR moment, thereby forging new, unexpected ties between souls. This art experiment offers a novel form of shared co-presence for individuals across asynchronous times and spaces, building a spatial-social network state atop our physical geospatial reality, all interconnected by the pioneering use of real-world physics data as digital physics, thereby making happenings in mixed reality an authenticated fact on the blockchain for the first time.

Media & Technologies:

  • An augmented reality app:
  • Digital Physical:
  • Social Identity:
  • Agents driven by AI:

The Manifesto of Nomadology

Nomadology allows us to reconceptualize space. True awareness is inevitably a form of creation, and Wafting Whispers creates a "nomadic space" based on a new understanding of space that flows through a network of nomadic whispers** using sound as a spatial substrate**. This space is based on the physics of the real world, bringing together the scattered nomads into a common presence. Diaspora is not diaspora, but reunion in a new place. The future of people's existence will be more of the same: nomadic in the real world, building community in the virtual world. And the first prerequisite for community is to feel each other's presence. Nomadism is an art of roots and clouds: when switching spaces, we are clouds; when searching for connection and depth in space, we are roots.

How It Works


Essence is the user's AI Agent, but it is a localized AI Agent, geospecial, based on nomadic notes left by the user in a particular space and time, a snapshot of the nomad's memory. The user can capture a copy of their essence before leaving any place.


Embodied Perception: Our perceptual experience is based on our body and our body's interaction with the environment, perception determines reality. AR technology is one of the core technological strengths of the Wafting Whispers team, allowing embodied perception determines that Wafting Whispers' reality is an interactive, liveable (not virtual) reality. Embodiment liberates "prisoners" of a carefully curated digital "hyperreality".


Wafting Whispers simulate natural encounters, and Essence will be captured as it passes by any user as it drifts over the city in response to real wind and air currents. Essence stops when the wind is low, and if it remains uncaptured for too long, it forms a "temporal amber" that freezes and stops drifting until it is found again. Unlike other social apps, Wafting Whispers' spatial socialization relies heavily on the will of nature. Discovering each other is an "Eureka" process, and non intent based space socialization is the most humanistic way to socialize.

A Tour of Wafting Whispers

Embodied Perception of an Encounter

The first wind of the morning blows and you awaken in Istanbul with your cell phone by your pillow. You open Wafting Whispers on your phone, and through the AR camera, you see that an Essence (a local embodiment of a nomad) is drifting towards your window, in the direction of the wind. You put your hand out the window and grab her, gesturing as if you were trying to catch a firefly. The aperture grows larger in your hand; it is a girl who was also traveling in Istanbul three months ago. You strike up a conversation with her, making small talk and learning that she had found a dress exactly like the one she was wearing at the Museum of Innocence. Naturally, you next talk about another of Pamuk's novels, My Name is Red (you're surprised that you read the same book before coming to Turkey!) ). Her next stop is Budapest, and just last week she left Istanbul. Your on-chain addresses documented this wonderful conversation.

Create an Istanbul Version of yourself...*

In many streets of Istanbul, there are still many such Essence hidden. where the wind lives, there exists the Essence of the nomad. So, you step out of your B&B and roam around the İstiklal Avenue. Before dusk falls, you go to the beach and decide to create an Essence of your own before you leave the place.After recording, you blow into your cell phone and your Essence flies towards the harbor, where it will follow the winds of the Bosphorus Strait and continue to float around Istanbul, waiting for the next encounter.

Spatial Social Network

The structure of Wafting Whispers is that of a spatial social network*. In the age of spatial computing, the boundaries between the real and the virtual will be increasingly shaken, and spatial social networks are the social networks of the future. Compared with on-screen social networks, spatialized social networks emphasize a sense of presence:

Presence of the Self

Nomadism requires antifragility. The presence of the "self" is a proof of the robustness of the individual's relationship with space, and it answers the question of the relationship between man and space. The human being is not a visitor to space, but a "plant" of space, which needs to grow in space and discover the roots of its existence. What are the forms of our presence? Multimedia such as cameras, audio recordings or writing provide various imitations of presence, but the most complete presence is the presence of the Agent. Based on this, the User Essence (AI Agent) guarantees the presence of the self. It is a deeply interactive inscription of space: once present, always present.

Presence of others

The presence of the self cannot constitute complete freedom; freedom exists in intersubjectivity. We are interdependent beings, and the ultimate purpose of Essence is to create the conditions for communication when communication is not possible.Wafting Whispers allows different Essences (with different real people behind them) to achieve async copresence, a local time machine; through agent as media, the presence of others across time and space is confirmed in both directions.

Presence of the community

The presence of the self and the presence of the other ultimately lead to the presence of the community. On the basis of these two points, we form a Spatial Nomad Social Network, where those who enter the AR world of Wafting Whispers see two different worlds from those who do not: the latter are somehow "nomadically deaf", unable to hear those who come from history and from others. In this way, Wafting Whispers will create a field of community that will be open to all nomads. The diaspora is the territory.

Autonomous World

Space is the greatest public good. In the real world, most spaces have their own names; Wafting Whispers' AR technology creates a new spatial layer, a permissionless space, forming a permissionless reality. In this new "reality", each Essence (user identity) is a fully autonomous entity backed by an on-chain entity (e.g., an ENS address or Lens address, etc.) that can upload on-chain data to refine its Essence profile.

This is an AW space built on top of a real urban space, and the basic components of this world are the Essences, the Whispers between them, the relationships between Essences, and the movement trajectories of Essences.

Digital Physics: The Will of Nature Brought Us Together

Nature is truly random. It's hard to find an unpredictable positive social action outside of a systematized social system, and the Wafting Whispers encounter system dictates that every person you meet is the will of nature, and that "capture" is just the last step at the end of the will of nature. Each encounter is unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable and, accordingly, a form of serendipity.

We have chosen the natural wind as the first driving force. The real world is highly artificial, in the virtual world it is back to the real nature. It's a Digitalized Nature, and we've talked a lot about presence. Ultimately, we want nature to be present in this new world.

Eternal Localness

The history of all the people in the city is the best history of the city: looking at Wafting Whispers not from a nomad-centric point of view, but from the point of view of the city itself, we can see that Wafting Whispers retains the impression of the most everyday life of a city. It essentially constitutes the cultural memory of a city. The advancement of media has also deepened our understanding of localness, which is not only spatially local, such as the difference between one city and another, but also temporally local, as Istanbul in the 1980s is different from Istanbul in the 2020s, but in a longer time scale localness is more temporally differentiated. In a longer time scale, localness has a temporal differentiation. By capturing an essence, we permanently keep the localness of a city on the chain.

Technology Philosophy

  • AW (blockchain) digitalizes time
  • AR digitalizes space
  • AI digitalizes human beings

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