In response to the global climate emergency, 28 arts organisations have formed the World Weather Network, a ground-breaking constellation of ‘weather stations’ located across the world in oceans, deserts, mountains, farmland, rainforests, observatories, lighthouses and cities.
For one year starting on 21st June 2022, artists and writers will share ‘weather reports’ in the form of observations, stories, images and imaginings about their local weather and our shared climate, creating an archipelago of voices and viewpoints on a new global platform.
Professor Friederike Otto, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College, London said:
“With World Weather Attribution we try to bring scientific evidence of the role of climate change into our conversations about the weather, but science alone can’t change the world. Art and literature can. So the World Weather Network is exactly what’s needed to view climate change very differently from what we think it is today.”
Offering different ways of looking at, listening to, and living with the weather, writers and artists’ weather reports will be shared on the World Weather Network platform from each location: the Himalayas, the Mesopotamian Marshes in Iraq and the desert of the Arabian peninsula; the Great Salt Lake in Utah and the ‘Great Ocean of Kiwa’ in the South Pacific; ‘iceberg alley’ off the coast of Newfoundland, the Baltic Sea and the Arctic Circle; a tropical rainforest in Guyana and farmland in Ijebu in Nigeria. Artists and writers are working in observatories in Kanagawa in Japan and Manila in the Philippines; looking at cloud data in China and lichens in France; lighthouses on the coast of Peru, the Basque Country and the Snaefellsness peninsula in Iceland; and cities including Dhaka, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London and Seoul.
- Hiroshi Sugimoto will collaborate with the Enoura Observatory in Japan to observe the turbulence of the Earth’s atmosphere.
- On the small island of Santa Clara off the coast of Donostia/San Sebastián, Cristina Iglesias’s sculpture invites reflection on deep time and environmental change. The station will explore the influence of climate on the daily life of the city.
- On Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Liam Gillick is creating an operational weather station to be used by scientists and the local community.
- A group of children in northwest Bangladesh have made a short film with puppeteers enacting their experience of living with extreme weather.
- Jonas Staal is setting up a utopian training camp in Turin encouraging participants to imagine alternative futures.
- At London’s Senate House Library, a new sound installation by writer Jessica J Lee and sound artist Claudia Molitor responds to live data from the Met Office.
Climate scientists, environmentalists and communities will participate in a wide-ranging programme of special events held in each location and online through the platform. Through the course of the year, the London Review of Books are commissioning special reports from writers based in many of the locations in the World Weather Network.
Whilst each organisation is reporting on their local weather, every one of these ‘weather stations’ is connected by the over-heating of the world’s atmosphere. The World Weather Network presents alternative ways of responding to the world’s weather and climate and is an invitation to look, listen, learn and act.