The Work of Wind: Land

Christine Shaw & Etienne Turpin (eds.)

In 1806, the British sea admiral Sir Francis Beaufort invented the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force as an index of thirteen levels measuring the effects of wind force. It was first used for the practical navigation of nineteenth- century ocean space; through a system of observation, wind speed was measured by observing how it composes at sea (for example, waves are formed) and decomposes on land (for example, leaves are blown from trees, chimney pots lifted, houses are destroyed). 


Across a variegated set of curatorial and editorial instantiations developed by Christine Shaw (Director/Curator of the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga) in 2018–20, the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force becomes a diagram of prediction and premonition in the context of accelerating planetary extinction. The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea appropriates the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force as a readymade index for curating a site-specific exhibition in the Southdown industrial area of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and a publication divided into two conjoining volumes published by K. Verlag.


The first book, entitled The Work of Wind: Land, and the second book, The Work of Wind: Sea, each contain a reflective essay on the Beaufort Scale, an intermezzo off the scale, and thirteen responses to the Scale’s thirteen distinct forces. Continuing K.’s curatorial approach to publishing, both publications invite 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).


While the title of the project series might suggest a weather project, it is not about wind but of wind, of the forces of composition and decomposition predicated on the complex entanglements of ecologies of excess, environmental legacies of colonialism, the financialization of nature, contemporary catastrophism, politics of sustainability, climate justice, and resilience. 

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