The Work of Wind: Land

Christine Shaw & Etienne Turpin (eds.)

The Work of Wind: Land takes as its conceptual starting point the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force for “Use on Land”—the index of thirteen levels measuring the effects of wind force published in 1806 by British sea admiral Sir Francis Beaufort. Through a system of observation, the scale measures the wind speed by observing how it decomposes on land (e.g. leaves are blown from trees, chimney pots lifted, houses are destroyed) and, respectively, how it composes at sea (e.g. waves are formed). The publication is the first of two volumes (followed by The Work of Wind: Sea), which are part of the curatorial initiative The WORK OF WIND: AIR, LAND, SEA, developed in 2018–21 by Christine Shaw, Director/Curator of the Blackwood Gallery at the University of Toronto Mississauga. The two books continue K.’s curatorial approach to publishing, inviting the reader-as-exhibition-viewer to navigate a broad multidisciplinary field of inquiry and experimentation, sensing a rise of intensity in form and content as the pages turn from 0 (Calm) to 12 (Hurricane).


Continuing K.’s curatorial approach to publishing by inviting the reader-as-exhibition-viewer to navigate a broad multidisciplinary field of inquiry and experimentation, the volume aims to foster a deeper public awareness of the complex entanglements of ecologies of excess, environmental legacies of colonialism, the financialization of weather, contemporary catastrophism, politics of sustainability, climate justice, and hopeful resilience. Across a variegated set of curatorial and editorial instantiations, the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force becomes a diagram of prediction and premonition in the context of our accelerating planetary extinction. While the title might suggest a weather project, it is not about wind but of wind, of the forces of composition and decomposition predicated on extraction, dispossession, accumulation, and infrastructure.



[DE]   The Work of Wind: Land ist eine Textsammlung, die von den 13 Stufen der Beaufortskala der Windstärken inspiriert ist. Ein Wetterprojekt andeutend, geht es vor allem um den Wind als Wirkung: Ein Geschichtenbuch zunehmender Intensitäten – von Windstärke 0 (windstill) bis 12 (Orkan). Kompositorische und dekompositorische Kräfte im komplexen Gefüge ökologischer Ausbeutung, kolonialer Vermächtnisse an die Umwelt, der Verwandlung von Natur zu Geld, dem gegenwärtigen Katastrophendenken, der Nachhaltigkeitspolitik, Klimagerechtigkeit und Resilienz.


The Work of Wind: Land. With contributions by Rouzbeh Akhbari & Felix Kalmenson, d’bi.young anitafrika, Amy Balkin, Jesse Birch, D.T. Cochrane, Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Anna Feigenbaum, Macarena Gómez-Barris, Ilana Halperin, Tom Keefer, Barbara Marcel, Mimi Onuoha, Tomás Saraceno, Christine Shaw, Juliana Spahr, Adrienne Telford, Etienne Turpin, Allen S. Weiss, Tania Willard, and Eva Wilson. Design by Katharina Tauer.


>>> Read the Introduction by Etienne Turpin [ PDF ]


Edited by Christine Shaw & Etienne Turpin


336 pages

19 x 24.5 cm

62 Color images

Hardcover, thread-bound

ISBN 978-3-9818635-8-1


Co-published by K. Verlag in partnership with the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga


The project series THE WORK OF WIND: AIR, LAND, SEA is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded in part through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.


The Work of Wind: Land won the 2019 “Best Book Design Award” in the Canadian OAAG competition of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.


Published in September 2018


In stock