Into the wind (again)

I'm working on a series of projects about Wind. They're really simple, just things that help you feel the power of the wind when it blows. When I first started working on them I thought I might be able to make something that would give you a bit of a sense of what flight would be like but what you get instead is an exhausting and futile struggle. It's exhilarating though and you stay in a state of pure experience for as long as you can hang on (not long).

I'm always trying to make projects that move us out of appearing and into being; this achieves that by force. When that funnel fills with wind you simply can't hold onto your pretences because all your strength is taken holding onto the wind.

A man holds a large orange fabric funnel like a wind sock, it is filled by the wind and he's fighting to stand upright. A man lies exhausted on the ground on a hillside, the wind funnel is empty and flapping around.
A smaller wind funnel in front of a Light House	A fabric windmill, like a child's tooy but very much bigger.

I made the first version of this project as an edition for the brilliant Belgian gallery Z33 (to whom I will always be grateful) and tried them out out at Dungeness. Really the funnels needed to be bigger though, so now I'm making progressively bigger ones and refining the shape of them to make them fill better and pull harder without tearing to bits. They often do tear to bits which is pretty disheartening given how long they take to make.

I've also made a few windmills, although I haven't yet made one that delivers the drama, chaos and fear that I'm hoping for. So far they either just turn too slowly or they break. I want one that you hardly dare to hang onto.

A little history of the project

Way back in College Julie Mathais and I made a little project together that was called "In the wind." We made a rig that hooked all the lights in her flat up to to a paddle hanging outside the window that blew around as the wind gusted and made them surge up and down. It was quite nice and I was really glad when I recently found the film we made of it in a pile of old DVDs.