Pat Naldi




Site-specific gallery sound installation & fm radio-broadcast.
The Experimental Art Foundation,
Adelaide, Australia.

crosswinds1 crosswinds2crosswinds3 crosswinds4

The sound and radio broadcast installation Cross-Winds was based around the Adelaide city plan, one that is derived from Cataneo's Renaissance interpretive design of the Vitruvian city plan.

The grid plan of the city - the grid being the traditional matrix of new urban beginnings - is the perfect colonial model. For the city of Adelaide parcels of land, delineated on paper, were pre-sold in England prior to the construction of the city.
This grid plan is constructed around the design of the wind rose. The rose of the winds is part of the fully developed magnetic compass and is used as a basis to produce a ‘safe’ grid - one whose streets are orientated in such a way that none of them would face the major points of the compass from where the strongest, most disruptive winds were thought to blow.

According to the Vitruvian plan outlined in his 10 Books of Architecture, the Vitruvian vision was 'preoccupied with pragmatism of the cities' protection. It was circular for defence, polygonal to break the force of the winds and radial to avoid their direction'. The resulting formation responds to the Renaissance search for purity and order. For Vitruvius the perfect architectural form should be analogous to the proportional symmetry of the classical male ideal body, a perfect unity.

Working with a cartographer, the Experimental Art Foundation Gallery was ‘located’ within the compass wind rose co-ordinates of the city of Adelaide, hence the space itself became a wind rose.
16 radio receivers were placed on the walls around the gallery reflecting the precise points of orientation and location of the winds within the city, and the receivers were tuned to a dedicated FM station airwave that broadcast female vocal extracts from well known operas. From 8 speakers on the gallery walls two specially recorded female voices hummed in unison fragments derived from opera scores. The sound of the voices emanated in concentric circles mapping the trajectory of the wind rose, those ‘disruptive’ elements blocked out from the vision of perfection the city proposed.
These echoes of the female voices could be heard alongside that of the parallel radio broadcast.

Aerial view of Adelaide & cartographer's chart

adelaide chart


Image & audio sequence of gallery installation


'As a city seeks to direct and contain movement on many specific levels, of flow, of movement, of behaviour, so it itself is shaped and contained by forces that we cannot readily see: of politics, of ideology, of aspiration. Therefore a city remains as much a product of the unseen, a visible projection in time and space of something that remains beyond, as something actual, concrete, here. The forces conjured by Naldi/Kirkup in Cross-Winds, are Aeolian ones - the winds, linked irrevocably with music through a mode of Greek church music taking the name and the eponymous Harp -. The city is located, shifted so as to block and deny the access and effect of winds. The need to exclude has shaped the city plan. Aeolus here can represent an entire pantheon: some named, some still nameless, some approved and some abjured, the acceptance or exclusion of their intentions and arguments, shape and form the city. The music that radiates through the airwaves here is from narratives of femininity, voices and presences historically not given space in the authorised discourses of the city.'

Richard Grayson,
Director, The Experimental Art Foundation, and project curator.

Extract from catalogue essay:
, The Experimental Art Foundation Publication, 1996.



Cross-winds was made in collaboration with Wendy Kirkup




Copyright © Pat Naldi 2014. All Rights Reserved.