Alan Storey: climatic drawing machine, 1991

Alan Storey. Climatic Drawing Machine drawing, 1991. Power Plant, Harbourfront, Toronto

Hard to get a good set of images made from the Climatic Drawing Machine, unless one wants to buy one.  Part of a series of machines that make marks on paper, this one uses a wind vane to register the direction of the wind, and the strength, which moves the recording drum up and down.  This was installed at Power Plant on Lake Ontario in 1991.

In all Storey's machines the lines are lovely, they skitter across paper in a way a line made by the hand never does.  With abstract marks, which these aren't — they are evidence of a mechanical set of relationships — one almost automatically reads one's own visual desires into them.  Sorry, but these are so like storms over either water or prairie that it doesn't surprise me that they have been drawn by wind.   There is a base: land, which is actually a mild breeze, that then gets all agitated when the wind turns fierce.  Which it does in real life.