I’ve been working with maps again, this time hydrology maps from the 1940s, most of them of Southeast Asia–Japan, Burma, the Philippines–places that might come in handy for planning a by-sea invasion, for example.
But maps are interesting–so disconnected from real life, and yet so involved in the business of life as we humans know it. These maps seemed like a perfect starting point to consider limitations and boundless energy. The more I looked at these maps, the more I became interested in borders and boundaries…and then of course, got to thinking about birds. Specifically, I got to thinking about murmurations. There are a lot of studies about murmurations going on these days, largely because they are amazing natural phenoms–how do ten thousand birds fly in complex patterns without mass accidents? And starlings aren’t the only birds that do this. But what we see when watching a murmuration is very different from what the birds see–they are responding to the six or seven nearest birds and those networks expand out like waves across the cloud of birds. The information exchange is truly awe inspiring, and while perhaps we don’t see it, we know instinctively that sort of networked wave.
Thoughts about those networks and waves evolved into thoughts about energy itself. How energy is so completely in the moment, so beyond boundaries and rules, so wild. Here’s the statement for the show:
Like marks on paper, first one, then another and another, energy flows through everything, building on itself, urging life forward–emergent, unpredictable boundless. 10,000 birds rise up as a cloud, incomprehensibly shifting, dispersing, combining again. 10,000 fish swarm as one massive dervish, spinning through water at impossible speeds. 10,000 people fill the streets, speak with one voice, become a wave. We are awakened to the energy of the moment.
Sumi and acrylic inks, wax, natural pigments on hydrographic maps from the 1940s.
Shift Collaborative Studio
Artist Reception, 5-8pm, First Thursday, April 4
TK Bldg, 306 S Washington, #105
Open through April, Fridays and Saturdays 12-5pm