IOTA artist Lou Sheppard is thinking about the magnetic pull to the North in this graphic score “Magnetic Orientation, Fraser-Skagit Flock”.
This powerful digital print edition is from a work in progress about Richmond’s Snow Geese- known as the Fraser Skagit Flock. These geese navigate by the earth’s magnetic field returning to the same place each migration. As they travel the geese use a process kind of like declination with a compass, where they sense magnetic north and navigate relative to it.
Here, Lou thinks about how they sense the magnetic pull of north and how they keep course by maintaining that tension. They have designed a kind of harp, which traces the geese migration and is strung to North, as a way of sounding that tension. The artist hopes to make the instrument some day soon, ideally as an aolian harp that could sit outside and be played by the wind.