Cy Keener

Graduate Fellowships, 2016
Stanford University

A portrait of a person against a green background.

Artist Statement

By collecting snippets of meteorological data gathered outside the fringe of my senses, and transforming these tracings into the visceral and emotional language of space, light, and form, I hope to better understand the natural world. I am interested in using technology to collapse distance and transmit a sense of experiential life from remote places. My practice is situated between skepticism of the present cultural optimism towards all things digital, and a hope that by collecting my own measurements and embedding them in sensorial representation, I am making progress on a bridge towards the actual phenomena.

In recent works, I have measured rainfall in millimeters and small fractions of a second, set up an array of 30 wind sensors to capture brief moments of turbulence in a river of wind, and deployed ocean drifters to wander the North Pacific and report back wave and sky conditions. My representations are often at the installation scale—coaxing strings of numbers into various configurations of light, space, and sound.

While At Headlands

The Center and surrounding landscape will bring me closer to the daily rhythm of wind, sun, fog, and ocean that shapes the Bay. My time there is an opportunity to prototype, test, and record these elemental forces while getting to know the surrounding ridges and valleys. I aim to make progress on a new project that will carefully chronicle wind and wave patterns in a graphic fashion: a bird book of swells and gusts.