World Trade Center Recordings: Winds After Hurricane Floyd
Not on view
Sheet: 60 × 43in. (152.4 × 109.2 cm) Image: 60 × 43in. (152.4 × 109.2 cm) Mount (plexiglass, aluminum): 60 × 43 × 3/16in. (152.4 × 109.2 × 0.5 cm)
1/3, 2 AP
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee
Rights and reproductions
© 1999/2002 Stephen Vitiello
While participating in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s artist-in-residence program, Stephen Vitiello began recording sounds from his studio on the ninety-first floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center. Vitiello became fascinated with the disparity between the dynamism and vitality of the cityscape below and the unreal silence generated by the building’s thick, sealed windows. He brought the resonances from outside into his studio space by affixing two contact microphones to the windows and adjusting their reception until he could discern sounds from the other side of the glass. Based on a recording Vitiello made the day after Hurricane Floyd struck New York, this work reveals the cracking noises of the swaying building stressed by the fierce winds. A towering structure of glass and steel, the World Trade Center here suggests a creaking, old wooden ship, buffeted by elemental forces. Shown at the 2002 Whitney Biennial in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, the piece further assumed the status of an unwitting memorial to a lost site.