Robbie Wing
June 15–October 19, 2024
Pig Barn
Robbie Wing

Robbie Wing, Cross Tie’s Song, 2024. Discarded railroad ties; current and historical vibrations; microphones; transducers; field recordings provided by Josie Parry; ongoing acoustic landscape onsite from past, present & future, heard & unheard. Dimensions variable. Photo: Blair Speed


Robbie Wing presents a new sound installation that contends with the history of the western railroad.

Remixing field recordings taken from trains passing through Bozeman’s NE neighborhood and the railroad ties pulled from Tinworks’ field in preparation for Denes’ Wheatfield, Wing uses the vibrational histories of the wooden ties

Wing mixed field recordings and vibrations of passing trains to create a site-specific, multi-layered composition embedded within reclaimed railroad ties pulled from Tinworks’ field.

In this newly commissioned installation, Wing weaves together a past and current presence of the railroad. The sound of trains carrying material for the Burlington Northern Railroad is a daily presence at the Tinworks' site. Working with vibrational histories—the idea that the physical nature of sound can be frozen in time and the frequency elicited from inert material can act as a living entity that has agency—Wing mixed the field recordings with the vibration of acoustically placed speakers and microphones, pulling the frequencies back through the wooden ties to create their own song. “The physicality of sound can tell historical narratives,” Wing explains. “The railroad alters the landscape of many places across the U.S. and especially Montana. My question is, do I know how to listen to a landscape and what is it trying to tell me?”

2024 Exhibition Season

This exhibition is part of Tinworks Art’s 2024 exhibition season, The Lay of the Land, featuring a major new ecological artwork by Agnes Denes and work by five artists inspired by the land of the American West.

With an intergenerational mix of established and emerging artists, iconic work and newly commissioned installations, The Lay of the Land explores how land in the west is represented. The artworks included connect to land and place through their physical materiality—wheat, sediment, soot, clay, the sound of passing trains—and subject matter—the natural or industrial forces that have shaped the land of the west and depictions of western places shaped by memory or technology.

About the Artist

Robbie Wing is an artist, musician, and composer born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. His practice focuses on composition, sonic sculpture, psycho-geographies, and performance. Robbie has a master’s degree in urban design from the University of Oklahoma. Robbie has presented his work and performed at various venues, including the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Tulsa Artist Fellowship Flagship Gallery, Philbrook Museum, University of Kent in Chatham, UK, Institute for Advanced Studies in Kószeg, Hungary, Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater and the Center for Arts, Research & Alliances.