The Work of Wind

Waterfront (York Street to Parliament Street)

Join curator Christine Shaw with 13 projects unfurling the 13 Beaufort wind forces along the Waterfront between York Street and Parliament Street.

Christine Shaw


Curatorial Statement

The Work of Wind

In The Work of Wind, the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force becomes a diagram of prediction and premonition of the 21st century. Created by the British sea admiral Sir Francis Beaufort in 1807, the scale is a 13-part index capturing wind's potential to compose at sea and decompose on land. Less than one km/h is Beaufort 0, "Calm," with the description, "sea like a mirror; smoke rises vertically." By force 4, "Moderate Breeze," with a velocity of 20-30 km/h the wind creates "small waves; raises dust and loose paper." By force 10, "Storm,"  the wind moves between 88-102 km/h, and "the tumbling of the sea becomes heavy; trees uprooted, structural damage occurs." The scale was used for the practical navigation of 19th century ocean space. Drawing on the language of the scale – drifting, tumbling, scattering, swaying, impeding, damaging, breaking, uprooting – The Work of Wind unfurls the 13 forces from 0 (Calm) to 12 (Hurricane) along Toronto's shoreline. From works of manifest tangibility and poetic materiality to more activist, conceptual approaches, the combined effects of this zone offers an operatic experience of the elemental forces, compositional forms, and geopolitical processes of our contemporary times.

— Christine Shaw


Christine Shaw is Director/Curator of the Blackwood Gallery and Lecturer at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She collaborates on education and curatorial projects, including the Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry (2005-10) and Letters & Handshakes. She holds an MFA from Western University and a PhD from York University. Recent projects include Paris/Toronto: The Ecology of an Art Scene; Precarious: Carol Condé and Karl Beveridge; and FALSEWORK with Allora & Calzadilla, Adrian Blackwell, Cyprien Gaillard, Mary Mattingly and Laurel Ptak.

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