DATE & LOCATION OF OBSERVATIONS
November 30 – Dec 3, 2016
Technicity, Temporality, Embodiment: 10th International Somatechnics Conference
Byron Bay, NSW
Workshop led by Astrida Neimanis: “The Weathering Report”
After several days of hot hot heat in Byron, our (outdoor) workshop was inaugurated by a thunderstorm. Bring on the weather!
(while writing this post in [ahem] February 2018, I am listening to Weather Report on youtube.
Workshop description in the Conference handbook:
How might we understand and practice “weathering” as a somatechnique for embodying climate change? In the context of a dominant climate change imaginary (in the so-called developed world), this phenomenon is too often posited as distant and abstracted from our everyday experiences of weather (see e.g. Neimanis and Walker 2014; Yusoff and Gabrys 2011). Such abstraction is buttressed by either neoliberal progress narratives of controlling the future or sustainability narratives of saving the past. Both largely obfuscate the ways that our bodies weather the world, and the ways in which our bodies are both archives and instruments in an ongoing gathering of climate-time. We propose that weathering as concept and practice might work as a poethical interruption to these abstractions.
Bringing together weather and climate change in and as the body calls for a new understanding of measurement that exceeds the aggregation of data that we take as a sign of global warming. In this paper we thus explore how technologies for measuring the weather impact upon our embodied understanding of meteorology and simultaneously ask how the body is also barometer and thermometer. In turn, how do bodies become archives of climate-time or repositories of data in ways akin to but strikingly different from an ice core.
Here, we present a Weathering Report that enacts our collective’s ongoing collaborative project in the art of weathering; we will unpack the theoretical underpinnings of our project, but more importantly, we will demonstrate weathering somatechniques through a series of interlaced and intra-active (Barad 2007) readings, visualizations, and short participatory activities. In particular, we will activate weathering keywords such as scale / ants / lightening / measuring device / catchment. In doing so, we are reminded that we are not masters of the climate, nor are we just spatially “in” it. Instead, we wish to ask how activating ourselves as weather-bodies can provide new imaginaries of climate change—linking this ineffable and massive “wicked problem” to the very banal, intimate and felt experience of weather.
LATEST WEATHERING ACTIVITY
- Lucky Dip! Participants choose from a wide variety of instructions in small envelopes. They can spend most of the session focusing on one instruction, or they can try as many as they like.
- Calibrating the Weather Machines: participants were asked to collectively and collaboratively read some portions of text, marking them up as they would do in their own individual reading practices. Discussion: what do these quotes and offerings inspire? How do you interpret them? How do they articulate new patterns and vectors of connection between human bodies as weather machines, and the weather world around us?
- Weather-Machine-Maker: Using the props on hand (or not), design an instrument for measuring the weather. (What is ‘the weather’ that you are measuring? How will you measure it? What will your data reveal?)
Due to various kinds of weather, there may be a delay in transmission.
(from the Conference program)
Florentien Verhage, writing about Merleau Ponty: