Wind Work

 

It is near impossible to record the sound of the wind. Wind takes voice through touch and its vibration on a microphone causes distortion. The digital trace becomes broken sound – a static filled ungraspable voice.

My attempts to record the sound of the wind are always pale failures when placed against the lived experience of being in a gale. Occasionally I catch a convincing whistle of the air as it squeezes through buildings or rattles things and leaves. I am not alone in my failures and desires. Early filmmakers knew the sound of the wind to be enigmatic and invented wind machines to create the effect of encountering it. These ad-hoc constructions (consisting of rolling drums and canvas) were churned to mimic the wind, creating an echo of the unintelligible language of moving air.

In my studio I have made my own wind machines. My machines are also instruments. I can change their drums and fabrics to make slightly different howls. I have been playing my machines in places where the wind goes in an absurd act of communication with an environmental force. My performances have been recorded in video and sound and become the raw material used in the video installation.