1988 Space Clasp-WindTunnel

1988 Space Clasp

I

I spent my childhood on a very high mountain in the countryside. It was high enough that the clouds seemed to drift faster in the wind. I used to lay face up in the grass looking at them, and if I did it long enough, I would get the sensation that it was me who was moving.

I remember the day our first grade teacher taught us the basics of the solar system. I learned that the earth orbited around the sun, as so did the other planets. That afternoon I repeated my cloud survey ritual, and for a bright moment I became aware of the impossibility of stillness.

 Like the sum weight of the sky bearing down on me, I realized that even if I was laying still on a grass field, I was also on board a giant spaceship traveling around the sun.

This was my first encounter with what I would latter understand as relativity. Yet, at the time, I could not grasp it as anything more than a fantastic moment compressed within the fabric of the mundane.

 

II

In 2014 I decided to fire rockets filled with payloads of Mylar scrolls. The Mylar would be ejected at altitude and I would lie ready to take pictures of it. As the pieces of Mylar drifted in the wind it assumed specific shapes in accordance to the aerodynamic forces it encountered. I then decided to translate these shapes into tridimensional objects that would then be tested in a WindTunnel.

A microphone is installed within the WindTunnel. The microphone feeds the sound of wind to a wall assembly containing two speakers, a sky-blue piece of Plexiglas, and Mylar.

 

       Manuel Rodriguez