• I called on friends from around the world in spring of 2020, inviting them to send one minute videos of local bird sounds. The 100 video contributions create unique sound compositions, combining a wide range of species and dialogues with videos from Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

    Birds are environmental indicators. For this reason, humans have always been attracted to birdsong and bird sounds. A diverse bird community signals a healthy environment. We are reminded how essential it is and has always been to live in harmonious balance. Call-and-response patterns are found in every culture’s communication and music and in all forms of sharing and democracy around the globe.

    Collected here the video contributions create unique sound compositions combining a wide range of species and conversations not heard together anywhere else in the world. Each time the project site is refreshed, a new composition is created.

    In Call and Response, each collaborator’s video submission allows us as viewers to share in the precise moment it was recorded. What they were hearing, letting us be virtually side by side for a moment, listening together.

    In Call and Response, each collaborator’s video submission allows us as viewers to share in the precise moment it was recorded. What they were hearing, letting us be virtually side by side for a moment, listening together. Special thanks to William van Roden, collaborating consultant and to Tom J. Hole for web development. Call and Response was created with generous support from TOTAH.

    callandresponseproject.org

Projects

  • 100 Breaths

    This series of 100 works on paper is titled 100 Breaths (2016), shown here in a recent exhibition at David Weeks Studio . The artist made each drawing with her breath, blowing metal dust suspended in varnish to create drawings that refer to both geography and the body. The gold, copper and silver forms are highly responsive to ambient light and change throughout the day, as the light changes in the room. They flare up and soften as the viewer moves and looks at them from different angles.

  • Red Regatta

    Red Regatta was an independent public art project created by artist Melissa McGill that activated Venice’s lagoon and canals with four large-scale regattas of traditional vela al terzo sailboats hoisted with hand-painted red sails. Presented in collaboration with Associazione Vela al Terzo, curated by Chiara Spangaro, with project manager Marcella Ferrari, the project was co-organized by Magazzino Italian Art, with support from Mazzoleni.

  • In the Waves

    In the Waves by artist Melissa McGill, curated by Dodie Kazanjian, was a series of live free public art performances activating the landscape and evoking the urgency of rising sea levels and a rapidly changing climate. The artist invited members of the local community to join the ensemble of this inclusive movement-based public artwork to create a shared meaningful experience about these environmental themes. The ensemble was led by the artist with Davalois Fearon, choreographer and Melanie George, producer and dramaturg.
    The project took place place on the ancestral lands of the Niantic Narragansett Nation at Rough Point in Newport, Rhode Island and was presented by Art&Newport and Newport Restoration Foundation.

    Photo by Caroline Goddard for Tom Powel Imaging

  • The Campi

    A sculptural sound project

    Exploring the conversation between the visible and the invisible that defines public space, The Campi invokes daily life in five campi, the open, irregularly shaped public squares that serve as the historic heart of every Venetian neighborhood.

     

  • Between the Two

    This body of work explores mapping negative spaces and shadows in space with blown black glass and inky black rubber drawings.

  • Red Regatta: Riflessi

    Captured during Red Regatta’s performances in 2019 in Venice, these photographic works document the reflections of the red sails as they fleeted together across the Venetian lagoon. An immersive installation of these works was installed at Totah inviting viewers to be surrounded in Venice’s lagoon, bathing in the afterglow of the Red Regatta.

  • Palmas

    Palmas activated the Quarry Pool and encircling paths at Manitoga: The Russel Wright Design Center. It was a two part project : A surround sound installation and a live performance. The work takes its name from the improvised, rhythmic clapping that is an integral part – the heartbeat – of Flamenco. Palmas animated the site aurally, inviting a heightened sense of awareness of the site’s landscape.

  • Constellation

    Constellation was a large-scale sculptural project installed around the ruins of Bannerman’s Castle on Pollepel Island in the section of the Hudson River that passes through Hudson Highlands State Park. Every evening, as the sun went down, starry lights emerge one by one with the stars of the night sky, creating a new constellation and connecting past and present, light and dark, heaven and earth. Constellation references a belief of the Lenape, the indigenous people of this area, of Opi Temakan, the “White Road” or “Milky Way” connecting our world with the next. The project launched in late June, 2015 and was on view through October 2017.

  • Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant erased, replaced with blossoming cherry trees

    These digital renderings depict Melissa McGill’s proposal to erase the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant and replace it with cherry trees.

  • These Waters

    These Waters (2022), an immersive sculptural installation created at the invitation of and with support from Vacheron Constantin. Composed of five large-scale photographs of New York’s Hudson River on glass, five panels lean against each other and the wall, appearing to be portals into the waters, their size and placement evoking the rise and fall of the tides.  

  • Reverse Punctuation Constellations

    This series of two sided works on paper is a collaboration with writer Sam Anderson. He responded to Melissa McGill’s public art project, Constellation, with typewritten quotes and original pieces. McGill marked the typewritten pages with graphite, pastel, watercolor, Sumi Ink, and charcoal. Then, punching out the periods, punctuation, pauses and/or spaces in the written works with a Japanese hole punch, she created new constellations, illuminated when light shines through the pages.