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Up Up Up Like A Fish

Michigan’s West Coast (2012)

✳ Collaborator: Paul Richardson


A tandem research project on flying machines. It’s an exploration of one’s own where as made visible by the breeze. It begins with a deliberate reorienting-- set the breeze at your back, keep the wind in your sails, keep a weather eye on the horizon. Once a kite is caught in a current, it can fly like a flag ‘til you know you’re okay.*



Experiment #1: Kites As Big As You And Me

Location: Pentwater, Michigan


A pair of kites pieced and patchworked from the shared space of tents into the shared space of sky. Two kites were constructed to the specifications of our own reach (height and wingspan, elbows out) in an effort to reach further and farther out. Essentially, this was a challenge to find the lift in one’s wing, the wind in one’s sails, to pull up the other by eachother’s bootstraps, kite-strings, loose-ends lightly.



Experiment #2: With The Without

Location: Rabbit Island, Lake Superior and New York City, Atlantic Ocean


Using the Log Cabin quilt-block pattern, we collaboratively constructed a patchwork from tents, beach blankets, and old sails. We then split the patchwork into two Flying Geese, one-for-you and one-for-me. Take the indivisible and divide it; you need two hands to tear apart. The stepping-back, the letting-go, the walk-away, the garden of forking paths, the parting is such sweet and why don’t we go our separate ways. Each kite was outfitted with a lightweight lamp so that when flown at night, the kite would make drawings with the wind, outline the great divide, write letters in the sky, and oh the wonder with autumn closing in.

*Some dead reckoning  in building language within the firmament of one another comes without the words but with the where. Make an illustration of the space between the tin-can-telephone strings that tie to you and me, tangled in an unrelenting yes-i-will-yes to the swift and changing qualities of wind. When thoughts become actions, let’s choose up instead of down. An inclination before the declination hollers holy holy holy, a double-take see-saw serenata where the letter writes itself back into the afternoon alphabet soup of our own longing. Constellate, syncopate, evaporate.

Mark