Woven Chronicles

John Hill
6. December 2016
All photographs by John Hill/World-Architects

The flows and movements of travelers, migrants, and labor across the world are depicted memorably in artist Reena Saini Kallat's "Woven Chronicles," which is on display at the Museum of Modern Art as part of its Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter exhibition.

The exhibition, curated by MoMA's Sean Anderson, includes a number of architectural projects – a full-scale "Better Shelter," a woven panel by Manuel Herz Architects that echoes his contribution to this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, and border wall schemes by Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, to name a few – but Kallat's wall piece is the standout contribution. 

As described by the artist at Medium, "The work was conceived with electric wires to form a drawing that will trace migration patterns globally, where multitude of actors interact without knowledge of the overall situation." The wires express her interest in "the notion of the map as dynamic, ever changing, streaming and transferring data with the global flows of energies and people, as the courses of these travelers intersect."

Yet the wires are also functional, feeding speakers that bathe the gallery in sounds: "deep-sea ambient sounds, slow electric pulses, the hum of engaged tones from telecommunications, mechanical-sounding drone, factory sirens, and ship horns intermingled with migratory bird sounds."

Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter is on display at MoMA in New York until 22 January 2017.

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