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We’re an arts publication that explores humanity’s complicated relationship to land.

Katie Wood

Katie Wood

Bio

Katie Wood’s composed soundscapes reflect intuitive and historical relationships between people and landscape manifested in sound. Her experimental sound practice uses spoken and sung text alongside phonography and analog synthesis in compositions and performances that explore themes of space, place and permutations of nature. She graduated from the College of William & Mary in 2014, and is now an MFA candidate School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


1. "Exhibit A" -- This stereo sound collage uses text, synthesis and field recordings taken at a construction site in Chicago to create a pathway for site-specific knowledge through listening. In the movement of people, machinery and raw materials into and around the site, I hear a microcosm of urban development and the sea-change of intra-urban migrations.  This work is part of an ongoing project in which I find ways of locating myself within the processes of urban development and movement, aiming to model conscious methods of synthesizing belonging in a new and foreign place.

2. "Blue Constellation" -- This composition uses field recordings, synthesis and samples of various Virginia residents describing their relationships to the land in Virginia, where I am from. It investigates different forms of place-based identity, taking the form of a fragmented story, whose jumbled bits resemble a memory or dream.

3. homes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 - These writings document the decay of a series of abandoned homes that are being reclaimed by nature in my native rural central Virginia.

homes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6
Katie Wood

1.0 one
1.1 indurated, fading earthward faces outwards right up against tremendous velocity:
1.2 100 years of holding tilts it
10 degrees into earth. soft
mossed-over steps lead to the side door.
Front stairs chipped off, muted.
1.3 Rotting floorboards would cocoon footsteps.
1.4 endless whine of motors
kinetic anxiety of wheels
1.5 machines struggle to round the uphill curve.
1.6 Two sisters lived here back in my childhood.
Grinning, toothless, white hairs sprouted from
their doughy chins, round an soft.
1.7 They were ancient, even then.
Their long skirts and small steps
moving slowly, voices crackling with delight.
1.8 Cars just fly past, rounding
the gap in the mountains where weather changes,
1.9 headed East.

3.0 three
3.1 Was there rain when the highway was distant enough for
3.2 drips to ring louder than trucks
passing who sliced the landscape perpendicular in a
Cartesian split to the
3.3 water systems whose homely stasis
3.4 ran up and down
up and down surrounding
3.5 now bowed gravity struck and edges peeling
3.6 Imagine a family: soft guys children and
daughters with sleeves rolled up, shoveling
braiding each others’ hair summer shade
3.7 Quarts rocks are common here:
mostly make the mountains’ bones.
it tolerates weathering the least
3.8 and is often left abandoned
by whichever waters bore it, upstream,
3.9 northeast.

4.0 four
4.1 A tension that draws shoulder bladestogether contracts cold and static.
4.2 The only signs
of a recent wildness
a gutter suspended over the front porch
like a false lash come unglued from a pale eyelid
4.3 Up the gravel road, a car
4.4 I hear while standing there.
Tiny bird
4.5 illuminated in bare light of gray sky.
4.6 One summer, years ago,
I walked here not alone.
We hiked up through briars to peek in the side window.
4.7 thousand insects stuck to warped glass
caught between it and threadbare curtain
color of lemon soup.
4.8 Now it sits, cleared of parasitic flora
and made up like a corpse.
4.9 facing West.

5.0 five
5.1 Crows in the nearby-but-not-close, at least three
5.2 There had been
gabled second floor windows, green roof
back porch covered, front porch open
a few steps up from the foundation.
5.3 Probably raccoons living under there.
5.4 cow is heard lowing a few miles away.
Pickup truck passes.
5.5 Dead grass creases stiffly under my step.
5.6 I fell in love with the house.
On sunrise drives to work,
I would pass it and spiral into imaginings:
5.7 rain and snow diagonal into close-set second-story eyes,
green roof darkening, back porch sagging and white paint peeling.
5.8 In its absence, I can see across the clearing
to where the trees start,
5.9 facing West.

Nat Ware

Nat Ware

Naama Levit

Naama Levit