Immersive art installation will make changes to climate ‘real’

King’s College London

Dr George Adamson, Senior Lecturer in Geography at King’s, has worked with artist Inés Cámara Leret to create the Weather the Weather installation for this year’s Green Man festival.

Weather the Weather, 2022 Photo by: Max Leighton, In Our Nature
Weather the Weather, 2022 Photo by: Max Leighton, In Our Nature

Weather the Weather (WtW), an immersive art installation that creates past and future weather conditions spanning the 1800s to 2080s, will be unveiled at the festival, taking place 18-21 August.

The piece was originally developed in 2019/20 as part of King’s Artists, King’s flagship artist-in-residence scheme, by Adamson and Cámara Leret in 2020.

Following Green Man, the piece will on be shown in London on the newly pedestrianised Strand-Aldwych outside King’s College London from 20-23 April, as part of marking Earth Day 2023.

Weather the Weather is a striking space where audiences time-travel through weather, sensing how conditions change from the past into the future. The weather conditions created are unique to the site of the installation, based on the Met Office’s historical weather data, archives, and the UKCP18 climate modelling exercise. But the piece is not just experienced through meteorological conditions; Weather the Weather is also intrinsically linked to the communities that host it, rooting it in their realities of climate change and action. This aspect is informed by workshops with communities to explore the meaning of weather, climate and climate change locally, in the past and present, for younger and older generations.

The piece will make climate changes ‘real’ by allowing people to move from the weather they’re experiencing right now into the weather of the same day in a different year, for example 18 August 1816 or 21 August 2080.The installation is designed to make people reflect on what climate change will mean for local weather, but also on how our experiences of weather are mediated through culture and technology.”– Dr George Adamson

Cámara Leret, describes the piece as “an immersive artwork resulting from archival research, community workshops, climate literature and a whole lot of experimentation working with the guidance of a large multi-disciplinary team.”

“It is a physical space where people can enter and through their senses explore and feel the weather on that specific day in the past or what that same day might be like in the future. The work is anchored around four key years, 1816, 1904, 1990 and 2080, which are specifically significant in the UK’s climate history.”– Inés Cámara Leret

Reflecting on the reveal of the piece in August, Dr Adamson says “There are a lot of exciting things about this project: the design of the structure, the opportunity to show it at Green Man, and just the process of making our vision a reality. But I think I’m most excited by seeing how people will respond to it. It’s not often that climate changes are made ‘real’ in this way. Will people be scared or empowered by it? Happy or sad or nonplussed? We have our thoughts of what people might get out of it, but I don’t know.”

Weather the Weather was commissioned by Green Man Trust for Einstein’s Garden, a science and environmental engagement area at Green Man, with support from King’s College London.

The project has been developed by leading experts in their fields – The Whitewall Co, Olaniyi Studios, and academics and technicians in the John B. Thornes lab at the Department of Geography, King’s College London.

As Weather the Weather demonstrates, many King’s Artists collaborations have gone on to be showcased on national and international platforms.

The 22/23 King’s Artists programme will fund up to eight residency awards of up to £5,000 each for new collaborative partnerships. Applications for the scheme close on Monday 5 September 2022.

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