The Wind Mirror textile and paired soundscape provide a visual and auditory exploration of landscape dynamics in and surrounding an ephemeral drylands lake, or playa. The Wind Mirror soundscape begins in the dry, pine-forested mountains on the Western end of the playa basin, moves downslope to the strip of highway, few houses, shorebirds, and coyotes between the mountains and the lake, and then out onto the playa lake-bed itself, first dry and soft but increasingly muddier as footsteps reach the still mirror of water at the center of the lake. This water hosts the bubbles and ferment of many types of microorganisms, which you can hear in the soundscape along with the slosh of the shallow water. Finally, the surface of the mirror becomes ruffled and then roiled as sands and water blow forcefully from West to East, lifting the mud and waters of the playa into waterspouts and currents to be carried to the Eastern mountains of the basin. The textile follows this same pattern of space and change. Together they speak to the fragile and forceful dynamics of these precarious basins.
This piece was developed as part of a PLAYA Summer Lake residency. Thank you to all of the folks at and supporting PLAYA for the time, growth, and experience. To find out more about their work please visit https://playasummerlake.org/.