I’m thrilled to announce the launch of a new, web-based work called This is a Picture of Wind. This work expands upon a series of short texts written in response to the winter storms which battered South West England in early 2014, resulting in catastrophic flooding in Somerset and the destruction of the seawall and rail line at Dawlish in Devon. Following the news in the months after these storms, I was struck by the paradox presented by attempts to evoke through the materiality of language a force such as wind which we can only see indirectly through its affect. I began to explore weather in all its written forms.
Part poetic almanac, part private weather diary, and part live wind report for the South West of England, this work attempts to call attention to climate change by picturing through variations in language the disturbances and sudden absences left in the wake of wind.
This work is designed to be read on phones. It calls on live wind data. A new text will be added for each month of 2018. A text about this work written by Johanna Drucker will be published in March 2018.
This is a Picture of Wind was commissioned by IOTA: DATA, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Initial research for this project was made possible by a Dot Award for Digital Literature, from if:book and the New Media Writing Prize.
Many thanks to Mireille Bourgeois, Chris Meade, Kay Lovelace, Johanna Drucker, Michael Saunby, Peter Dickinson, and Jerome Fletcher for walking into the wind with me.