DATE & LOCATION OF OBSERVATIONS
Tuesday 3 – Wednesday 4 March, 2020.
‘Weathering Everything: A Mini-symposium’
CoWS (Community Weathering Station) @ University of New England, Armidale NSW.
Unceded Anaiwan land.
After a devastating summer dominated by bushfires across the country, and months (years?) of drought in the Northern Tablelands region, it had finally rained. And rained. For weeks. By the time our long-anticipated mini-symposium rolled along, the hills were glowing magically green, the creek was high, and all bodies were sopping wet.
Three of five Weathering collective agents present. General mood: pumped.
So happy to be weathering together again! Two jam-packed days of public activities, weathering across spaces (with particular histories, ecologies and capabilities) in new formulations with various others. What can be learnt from opening up our shared pool of thoughts, processes and tools, inviting people in to perform, assess and reshape them with us?
A (water)tight program, with gaps enough for immersion in local watery bodies: 1. the local swimming pool and 2. among the boulders at beautiful Gara gorge.
LATEST WEATHERING ACTIVITY
‘Weathering Everything: A Mini-symposium’ at UNE Armidale Campus, presented by Community Weathering Station (CoWS), a new initiative based in Armidale.
With Dr Astrida Neimanis (USYD), Tessa Zettel (Artist-Researcher), and Dr Jennifer Hamilton (UNE)
- Tuesday, March 3: 5pm for 5pm – Public Lecture: Dr Astrida Neimanis “We are all bodies of water; we are always weathering: So Tired, the Sea” (Oorala Lecture Theatre). A performative-lecture first devised as a keynote for the Kelp Congress at Lofoten international Art Festival, Lofoten Islands, Norway (2019). Australian Premiere. Followed by incredible audience discussion and Tessa’s presentation of Making Time: An Illustrated Compendium of Notes on Preserving Food & Futures (2017) book project.
- Wednesday, March 4: 7.30am – Community Weathering Station Breakfast (Lake Madgwick). Toast, tea, coffee, fruit, an esky or two, a marquee by a stormwater lake, picnic blankets, a slowed-down walk around the water’s edge, a family of ducks, a swampy mirrored body of water with a past (or many), quickly drawn maps of micro-climates in motion on index cards.
- Wednesday, March 4: 2pm – Weathering the Apocalpyse: Survival Skills Workshop (A1 Arts Theatre Stage). Tucked away backstage in the university theatre, a group of participants learning how to darn holes and sew books by hand, making a stack of collaborative rapid-fire zines spanning climate change, micro/macro scale, love, the apocalypse. Alongside, a micro-salon pop-up from Haircuts for Planetary Survival.
COVID-19 lurking barely perceptible on the horizon. Longer than usual hand-washing, toilet paper already flying off the shelves. Suggestion to make ‘family cloth‘ at the Survival Skills workshop (instead of darning Jen’s family woollies) not met with enthusiasm. Too soon?
On the cards.. other than sudden global shutdown of all social life, several good things:
- finally, another Occasional Supplement! #2 is on the way. we promise.
- co-authored journal paper reflecting on the mini-symposium and our methods to date. More soon.
- an edition of the full set of collaborative zines from the Survival Skills workshop. Printed and being folded/assembled together ready for posting as we type.
- Meth Lab poster to be prepared for printing at our favourite offset print collective Big Fag Press (long-range view)
- more weathering with CoWS in Armidale later this year.
- Our own Bush Google (aka Bec Giggs) has a book!!!!!! Out with Scribe, Fathoms: The World in the Whale, is an absolute winner. The Weathering collective was *almost* complete at its socially distanced online mini-launch last month. A review in The Saturday Paper describes the book thus: “horrific, poetic and profound; a morbid dirge shot through with celestial light”.
- Dr. Bayo Akomolafe, ‘On Slowing Down for Urgent Times’ on For the Wild podcast
- Nigel Clarke and Kathryn Yusoff (2018) ‘Queer fire: ecology, combustion and pyrosexual desire’ in Feminist Review; alongside, always, Alexis Wright and Audre Lorde and more, for this month’s COMPOSTING Feminisms & the Environmental Humanities #50: ‘REBUILD’ in the Cloud, miraculously squeezed into a free pocket of the mini-symposium’s bottomless schedule.