I Talk to the Wind
Dyed silk, ornithologist poles, broadsheet, portable record player, LP Dimensions variable
This installation considers the ecology of communication in plants and people, and the medium that bears this transmission: wind. Silk scrims dyed with sagebrush, wolf lichen and lodgepole pine bark, harvested on site, set the stage for a reading, in the round, of the poem Suleika I written by Goethe's lover, Marianne von Willemer. The overlapping voices were mirrored by the tonal variations of color in the silk. Audience members exited to a recording of King Crimson's I Talk to the Wind, 1969.
Inspired by ecologist Richard Karban’s research on airborne communication in sagebrush plants, leading to resiliency in the species: Damage-Induced Resistance in Sagebrush: Volatiles are Key To Intra- and Interplant Communication by Richard Karban, Kaori Shiojiri, Mikaela Huntzinger, and Andrew C. McCall
Risograph-printed broadsheet integrates Karban’s research with Willemer’s love poem that addresses the wind. It also served as a score for the live performance. Audience members, along with incognito performers, were guided along a path, and onto a foot bridge where they discovered stacks of the broadsheets.
Sagehen Creek Field Station, Tahoe National Forest, CA
Event documentation by Logan Lape.
Special thanks to Aaron Czerny, Mary Donnelly, Sameer Farooq, Karen Krolak, and Kelly Wallis for reading.