In the summer of 2012, the San Diego Port Authority put out a call for temporary public art projects that conceptually connected with the native shoreline and formally activated the environment through motion, light, and sound. In 2013, Margaret Noble won this Port Authority contract to realize her project, Tides.
Tides was to be a series of dynamic public art concerts with large-scale sculptural kites carrying tuned wind chimes and flown by experimental choral singers. Formally dressed in black, choral performers were to improvise with varying bell note melodies driven by the kite lines they would fly. Grounded in chance and inspired by John Cage, each concert would have varied greatly depending on wind speed, selected chime notes, and environmental sound. The wind chime design allowed for adjustments in weight and tunings to accommodate weather changes. The set of 16 kites that were to be colored in black and white, were capable of flying in winds from 5mph to 20mph and could carry up to 2.5 pounds of weight.
Due to fiscal shortages, The San Diego Port Authority cut its public arts budget and canceled several artist contracts including, Tides. Project funding was reinstated in 2016 and the project evolved. Below are stills and videos from the tests and simulations used to develop this sonic kite-project.
San Diego Union Tribune: Its Official, Port Slashes Public Arts Budget
City Beat Magazine: Port of San Diego Slashes Art Budget