The Work of Wind: Sea – 2024

Christine Shaw & Etienne Turpin (eds.)

The Work of Wind: Sea takes as its conceptual starting point the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force for “Use on Sea”—the index of thirteen levels measuring the effects of oceanic wind force published in 1807 by British sea admiral Sir Francis Beaufort. Through its systematic organization of observation, the scale measures the wind speed by observing how it composes at sea (e.g. waves, froth, foam, and spray are formed;) and, respectively, how it decomposes on land (e.g. leaves are blown from trees, chimney pots lifted, houses are destroyed). This new collection is the companion volume to The Work of Wind: Land (2018); it starts with a reflective essay by Françoise Vergès on cruise ships as neocolonial leisure and a visual “intermezzo” by Brazilian filmmaker Gabriel Mascaro. The wind scale’s thirteen distinct forces are then echoed by thirteen contributions that consider the ocean and its weathers—above and underwater—as a field of tension characterized by structural violence and multispecies becoming. Both volumes aim to foster a more intimate awareness of the relentless legacies of colonialism and capital excess that undergird contemporary politics of sustainability and climate justice. In the context of the accelerating extinction crisis, the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force thus becomes a ready-made diagram of prediction and premonition. While the books’ titles might suggest a weather project, the editorial concern was not to make a project about wind, but to better understand the forces of composition and decomposition predicated on extraction, dispossession, accumulation, and infrastructure.


Together, The Work of Wind: Land and The Work of Wind: Sea are part of the curatorial initiative 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. As an integral part of this program, K. Verlag was commissioned to respond to the initiative’s broad multidisciplinary field of inquiry and experimentation with the realization of the two companion publications. 

The Work of Wind: Sea. Edited by Christine Shaw & Etienne Turpin. Contributors TBA. Design by K. Verlag in collaboration with Katharina Tauer


346 pages
16.5 x 22.3 cm
Color & black/white images
Hardcover, thread-bound
ISBN 978-3-9818635-9-8



Forthcoming in 2024 – available for pre-order