Performativities of weather: towards understandings of practices of weather and climate in places and landscapes through artistic and other engagements

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Oliver Moss, CCRI PhD student, discusses his research on how weather and climate are portayed in art and by other means.

Oliver Moss, CCRI PhD student, discusses his research on how weather and climate are portayed in art and by other means.

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  • 1. Performativities of weather: towards understandings of practices of weather and climate in places and landscapes through artistic and other engagements• Oliver Moss• CCRI• Supervisors: Owain Jones, Carol Kambites, Nigel Curry• Contact: o.moss@northumbria.ac.uk
  • 2. Outline• Context• Methodology• Findings
  • 3. Context (I)• Landscape – local, static, fixed, sedentary, site- specific, rich cultural associations• Climate – global, transboundary, cumulative• A “de-culturating” of climate (Hulme, 2008)• From: C18th – ‘weather wising’ (proverbs, sayings, natural signs) (Golinski, 2012)• To: “Nature as lived-in milieu has been thoroughly domesticated” (Rayner, 2003)
  • 4. Context (II)• infrastructure: housing, roads, storm drainage systems (Rayner, 2003)• Order was imposed on seemingly chaotic and elusive weather, first, by quantifying it locally at individual places and, subsequently, by constructing statistically aggregated climates from geographically dispersed sites.” (Hulme et al, 2009)• “The global climate model is a simplification of complex realities in order to make scientific prediction” (Cupples, 2012)• And thus, in turn, policy…• e.g. the EU policy goal of holding ‘global warming’ to no more than 2 C above 19th C global temperature
  • 5. Context (III)• A blunting of climate‟s complex geographies• There has emerged in recent years a desire: problematise knowledge claims pluralise the meanings of climate and climatological expertise• particualrise climate experience (Endfield, 2012)• “discourses about global climate change have to be re-invented as discourses about local weather and local physical objects and cultural practices” (Hulme, 2008)
  • 6. Context (III)• Michel Serres – temps (time / weather)• Weather - day-to-day properties of the atmosphere and its short-term (minutes to weeks) variation (temperature, precipitation, air pressure etc.)• Climate – the average of long-term, seasonal or annual changes in the atmosphere (Seaton, 2011)• “The weather remains the primary idiom through which a variety of publics make sense of climate change, as witnessed and responded to in ordinary, everyday-life scenarios, such as walking, gardening, fishing, sailing and working on the land” (Geoghegan & Leyshon, 2012)
  • 7. Context (IV)• Weather is “what it feels like to be warm or cold, drenched in rain, caught in a storm, and so on. In short, climate is recorded, weather experienced’ (Ingold & Kurttila, 2000)• (Im)material and embodied engagements with landscape-weather• “weather enters visual awareness not as a scenic panorama but as an experience of light….light is fundamentally an experience of being in the world….in the perception of the weather-world, earth and sky are not opposed as real to immaterial, but inextricably linked within one indivisible field” (Ingold, 2005)
  • 8. Context (V)• The existing literature: a concern (largely) for landscapes “grounded fixities” (Ingold, 2005);• Walking (Wylie, 2002), dance (McCormack, 2002), gardening (Hitchings, 2003), parkour (Saville 2008)• Landscape painters (north east of England) – who operate at the interface of earth and sky (material and immaterial)• Aim: To investigate the affects of weather in (practices of) landscape
  • 9. Methods• 46 semi-structured interviews carried out• participant observation (use of go- along/mobile interviewing)• 8 x 30 day „weather diaries’ secured• document analysis (e.g. artist statements)• Gallery visits statements atements)
  • 10. Findings (I)• Mobilities of arts practice• static, flat, pictorial view of landscape• http://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=Y5GX4RQO2 dU• movements to/through/from site• site/non-site• Habituated encounters/practices
  • 11. Findings (II)• ‘Capturing’/’fixing’/’harn -essing’ the ephemeral• role of photography• preparatory sketches/’studies’• Painting as ‘long- exposure photography’ – capturing stationary elements and blurring/smearing/obscur ing other aspects
  • 12. Findings (II)• Memory• “Memory seems under- considered in these….(nrgs) which focus on the affective performativities of the present and the richness and creative potentials therein” (Jones, 2011).• Site / studio / Site / Studio• ….spliced with memories of previous encounters• absent presence of wider symbolic representations (e.g. Turner’s Northern Tours)
  • 13. Findings (IV)• Materialities ofpractice• Rituals of preparation• kit/rigs/self-designed/-fabricatedequipment• emotional props (seeBarratt, 2011)• pigment/use ofnatural materials
  • 14. Thank you for listening Oliver Moss o.moss@northumbria.ac.uk