Dossier: Weatherscapes

Articles & talks about weather literacies & sensing machines

Reassemble

Introduction

What do we know about the weather, apart from our daily embodied experience and the weather forecasts reaching us through a vast structure of sensing machines, databases, and prediction models? When we look up into the sky, do we understand its composition, scale, and interactions with the world we live in? Now that weather is becoming ever more extreme and deadly by nature, under the impact of a warming planet, can we relate to these changes?

From January 19 to 22, 2023, Weatherscapes, the fourth iteration of FIBER’s Reassemble Lab gave a temporary platform to researchers, thinkers, and makers to conduct interdisciplinary research and artistic experiments about the weather. With Weatherscapes, FIBER aims to increase multidisciplinary knowledge and literacies around this ubiquitous phenomenon, translating data into stories on a human scale and viewing weather as an artistic medium and a lived experience with sensory, embodied, and socio-political effects.

Explore this dossier with a wide variety of reading and recorded materials by lab participants and external researchers.

Articles

In order to create an exploratory archive of collective knowledge on this immense topic, the Lab compiled sources, gathered written contributions, and recorded lectures from makers and thinkers who are committed to contributing to a ‘weather literacy’. This dossier is a first collection of these resources, an initial, interdisciplinary foray into into the complexity, vastness, and agency of weather systems.

  • Sensorial Weather-Journeying | Laura Papke & Jan Christian Schulz
    23/11/2023
    Towards a Forensics of Climate Knowledge | Robert-Jan Wille
    23/11/2023
    Heat Environments | Karolina Sobecka
    23/11/2023
    Weathering Computing | Kevin Walker
    23/11/2023
    Can I Turn into a Slug, Please? | Ekaterina Volkova & Julien Thomas
    23/11/2023
    Mammal Meteorology | Maya Livio
    23/11/2023
    A Story About Data and Data Comprehension: From Notched Bones to the Digital Age | Kasper de Vries
    23/11/2023
    Pluvial Biopolitics | Chiara Pitrola
    23/11/2023
  • Can satellites see through clouds? | Bilyana Palankasova
    23/11/2023
    POINT CLOUD: The metaphor of the cloud, micro to macro
    18/12/2023

Dossier Summary

Contributors were encouraged to include the discussions, observations, and knowledge that were discussed within the lab, and combine this with their personal interests, theoretical knowledge, and different larger fields of academic or artistic research.

In his article ‘A Story About Data and Data Comprehension’, technologist Kasper de Vries investigates the evolution of data, focusing on its collection and the various forms it can take. From ancient inscriptions to modern computerized systems, technological advancements have revolutionized the way we gather and interpret data.

Researcher and curator Bilyana Palankasova reflects on topics discussed during the lab in her article ‘Can satellites see through clouds?. She examines two instances of creative practices related to weather sensing through a socio-material lens, aiming to uncover the potential for empowerment by rendering the global telecommunication infrastructure visible.

In her essay, ‘Pluvial Biopolitics’, hydrofeminist practitioner Chiara Pitrola delves into the connections between gender, weather, and sound. She conducts a specific examination of the Shangwe community in Zimbabwe and their rainmaking songs as a case study.

Interdisciplinary researcher, writer, and media-maker Maya Livio investigates how nonhuman entities have been utilised as climate sensors and the questions they raise regarding the unequal distribution of heat, in her piece, ‘Mammal Meteorology’.

In her article, POINT CLOUD: The metaphor of the cloud, micro to macro’, Valentine Maurice explores how we can utilise microphenomena in order to understand “history” through a transversal, non-linear lens.

Designers Ekaterina Volkova and Julien Thomas wonder whether ‘Can I Turn into a Slug, Please?’. In their collaborative piece, they reflect on their personal relationships with the weather, exploring the role of tangibility in establishing new connections with the atmosphere and pondering whether artistic practices can introduce novel ways of positioning ourselves in relation to climate change.

In Weathering Computing’, artist and researcher Kevin Walker traces the intricate connections between computing and weather, which operate in both directions and across various scales, including within computers and globally through networks, data centres, and cloud technologies.

In her essay titled ‘Heat Environments’, artistic researcher Karolina Sobecka immerses readers in an artificial tropical climate and delves into the historical engagement with thermal regimes. Historian of science

Climate researcher Robert-Jan Wille emphasizes the significance of historical literacy in ‘Towards a Forensics of Climate Knowledge’ , highlighting how archives can enlighten us about the origins of climatological and meteorological knowledge systems, the transformation of visibility into invisibility, and the emergence of once -invisible technologies when they malfunctioned.

Finally, in ‘Sensorial Weather-Journeying’ ,  designers Laura Papke and Jan Christian Schulz reflect on the interplay between both sense- and sensor-mediated weather phenomena, shedding light on their impact on our sensory experiences and our understanding of the past, present, and future.

Sources

Selected materials by the Lab participants

  • Brochure KNMI’14 climate scenarios
    01/01/2015
    Clouds above Clouds below
    16/10/2023
    Who Owns the Wind? Climate Crisis and the Hope of Renewable Energy
    12/10/2021
    Weathering: Ecologies of Exposure
    06/10/2020
    What Does It Take to Change the Future? Marta Peirano in conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson
    17/06/2022
  • In the Wake: On Blackness and Being
    01/11/2016
    World Weather Network
    16/10/2023
    Cinema as Weather: Stylistic Screens and Atmospheric Change
    27/02/2024
    Toxic Atmospheres
    07/11/2017 e-flux

About

Reassemble is FIBER’s nomadic lab for art, technology and ecology. It serves as the bridge between festival editions, offering an exciting program that includes workshops, collaborative work sessions, immersive field trips, lively discussions, and engaging public events. The lab is a space of exploration, whose mission is to deepen our grasp of the immense global challenges we face by nurturing creative minds and inquiring thinkers, empowering them to prototype fresh and collaborative creations and explore innovative perspectives.

 

VISIT THE LAB PROJECT

Dossier Credits

File lead: Allegra Greher
Curation: Allegra Greher, Jarl Schulp
Program mentors & co-curators: Mark Ijzerman, Mint Park
Photography: Peter Kiers
Videography: Tanja Busking
Editorial: Tanja Busking
Design: Mary Ponomareva

Authors: Bilyana Palankasova, Chiara Pitrola, Ekaterina Volkova, Jan Christian Schulz, Julien Thomas, Kasper de Vries, Karolina Sobecka, Kevin Walker, Laura Papke, Maya Livio, Robert-Jan Wille

Weatherscapes Lab has been made possible with support from the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Creative Industry Fund NL, and Pictoright. FIBER is part of CreaTures – Creative Practices For Transformational Futures.