play is older than culture, for culture, however inadequately defined, always presupposes human society, and animals have not waited for man to teach them their playing. – johan huizinga
the kite is a technology that has been used by humans for over 25 centuries to extended our reach physically, mentally and spiritually. kites have been used in ceremonies, warfare, sport, science and perhaps most influentially, as a precursor to the airplane in the aspiration of human flight. in todays digital age, our technologies allow us to extend ourselves mentally and physically further and faster then ever before, in a multiplicity of simultaneous extensions. we are increasingly wired and wirelessly (dis)connected, and this rapid momentum is challenging and changing everything.
a simple kite, flies not with the wind but in opposition to it. kites fly because they remain tethered to the ground. but what keeps us grounded? and how do we confront an uncertain future and weather unprecedented storms?
with these questions in mind, began a collaboration with students at colonel gray highschool with the goal to engage them (hopefully) in the science, history and art of flying kites and in doing so, collectively look up to the sky and play – fielding simple challenges and raising big questions.
big thanks to zachary gough, joshua collins, jessica sheppard and everyone in her class, as well as the whole team at flotilla atlantic.