Welcome to the very first Weathering Report, an irregular account of our collaborative endeavours as they unfold.
DATE & LOCATION OF OBSERVATIONS
29 Jan, 2016, Cook’s River, Marrickville
In both the dominant environmental imaginary and empirical scientific study, climate change is too often posited as distant and abstracted from our everyday experiences of weather. Either neoliberal progress narratives of controlling the future or sustainability narratives of saving the past buttress such abstraction. Both largely obfuscate the ways that our bodies weather the world and are part of the changing climate.
Working together in a new collaborative configuration, we propose the concept and practice of weathering as a “poethical” interruption to these abstractions — as a way to radically localise, or embody, the global phenomenon of climate change. Over the coming months/years, we look forward to exploring, devising and sharing different approaches to meteorology as a multispecies endeavour, paying particular attention to the temporalities and instrumentalities of weather as it is encountered and understood by different bodies.
LATEST WEATHERING ACTIVITY
After some months of percolation, our first meeting took place on a hot late-January afternoon. Hosted by Astrida in Marrickville, we spent a few happy hours in a shady nook of the Cook’s River, sharing texts, exercises and possibilities. On the agenda were turning verbs into action, scientific poetry and problems that are uninhabitable. Jen led a short exercise in list-making (‘When weather annoys me’), and Stephanie brought along a makeshift wind-drawing device constructed from a bucket, some string and a pencil.
Here are Bec’s notes:
- “Your teeth and how to keep them”;
- Transcorporeal bodies;
- Language adequate to experience;
- Beaufort wind scale;
- Naturalising the boiling point of water—a fiction on which celsius is founded;
- Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics (terrestrial bodies);
- Silent design;
- “De-thing-ify the body” said Kate W;
- Why would a feminist only be interested in the human?;
- Water divining;
- Writing is inadequate;
- How we have swallowed barometers;
- Wind-socks on the head;
- ‘Prospect and refuge’, where you sit in a room.
- And in response to Jen’s weather exercise—1. ‘widow-makers’, the big eucalypts in dry high wind; 2. rips; 3. stinger weather, overcast, still hot days; 4. being cold, cold feet, the trouble of winter shoes; 5. Taking the weather with you; 6. storm-food (inevitably cheese sandwiches with margarine on white bread).
On the horizon for us: a collective residency somewhere out of the city, to feel the weather on a different time scale and in less protective surroundings.
The weather of one’s stride as one walks from the Cook’s River to Church St as measured by a plastic bucket, a string, a piece of paper, a pencil, movement and time.
Germaine Greer – White Beach
Merleau-Ponty – Lectures on Nature
Stay tuned for the Occasional Weathering Report Supplement, a micro print-publication set to accompany these online reports.