THE CEILING OF OUR DAY
A site-specific kinetic photography installation
Bolinas Museum March 29 - June 1, 2014
As described by the Bolinas Museum...
Walter Kitundu is a Bay Area artist, instrument builder, photographer, performer, designer, avid birder, and former Bolinas resident whose recent work combines analog mechanical wizardry with a passion for birdlife. Inspired by walks through the forest, Kitundu has transformed the gallery into an immersive site-specific kinetic photography installation where the random footsteps of each visitor trigger the whir, hum and click of an assembly of vintage slide projectors and the flight of Bay Area birds from a collection of over 100 slides of photographs taken by the artist, making each walk-through unique.
Like the Richard Wilbur poem that inspired the title of the installation, Kitundu’s work calls our attention to the natural world and makes us pause and reconsider how chance informs our daily experience and place in the natural order of things. "Whenever I wander through the woods I'm struck by the constant surprises and changes of pace and possibility," says Walter Kitundu--an experience he meticulously interprets here by shaping wood.
See the following article by Vicki Larson of the Marin Independent Journal
Kuelea Kama Ndege (2014)
Wood, paper, string, trombone bell, record player, vinyl, steel
Commissioned by the Oakland Museum of California for their exhibition Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records
Kitundu has always been drawn to records because they make sound in a physical visceral way. Those little landscapes in the grooves are fixed yet they also erode over time. His love of records led him to create pieces that work with wind, birds, tides and other physical forces, so the line from vinyl to the natural world is evident and inspiring for him. He wanted to share that connection by giving visitors a chance to engage both bird and sound at the same time. Flight and music both take energy and their input makes them both possible.
Ocean Edge Device (2006)
Wood, accordion, salad bowls, aluminum, ocean
Public performance at the Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin, California.
The device was constructed in three weeks and tested for the first time in the Pacific Ocean during the event. It harnessed the power of the waves and wind to power onboard musical instruments.
Overdog Mango (2006)
Light, wood, stone, water, sound, mirrors, motors, acrylic
Collaboration with Alice Wingwall during residencies at the Exploratorium.
In 2006 Kitundu collaborated with the brilliant artist and photographer Alice Wingwall during their residencies at the Exploratorium. They created “Overdog Mango,” informed by the Canis Major constellation and in honor of Alice's guide dogs. Alice's photographs were projected through a "celestial disc" that rotated once every 15 minutes causing constellations of braille words to rise and set throughout the installation. The disc was backed by an enormous concave mirror that shifted the light and changed its direction contributing to the complexity of the piece.
Kitundu's first solo exhibition of Phonoharps and instruments created from turntables. Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco
Mutato Nomine de te Fabula Narratur (2002)
Wood, turntables, pigeons, time
Part of a three man exhibition along with Kitundu, Edgar Arceneaux and Kamau Amu Patton at the Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco.
This installation invited pigeons from Market Street to take shelter in the structure. The ledges were weight-sensitive and the birds would trigger turntables and sound elements on the gallery side of the walls. The piece only came to life during the 90 minutes per day the birds felt like entering. The pigeons could rest undisturbed as viewing them was limited to apartment door peepholes.