The Weathering Report #6

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. 



  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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:


Audre Lorde:


Ann Cvetkovich:


Alfonso Lingis:

Tim Ingold:

David Abram:

Karen Barad:


The Weathering Report #5: The Weather Underwater / Wave Weather

Saturday 26 November 2016
North Coogee Beach, Sydney NSW

Sunny, a few clouds. Unexpected sunburns. That breeze from the sea always fools you.

WAVES GATHERING much interest. Plans for a dispersed weathering residency at the beach over Summer 2016.

Distant Forecast: Weathering Retreat on Grand Manan Island, North Atlantic

North Coogee Wave Scale, as measured on 26 November 2016:

Makes Your Knees Bend

Requires Diving Through

Causes Migration to Between-the-Flags

Pulls Your Bottom Togs Off



“The waves — they come in waves!”

“I love the feeling of just coming out of the sea – what is it, that buoyancy you feel.”

Ocean weather = the wave as a relay of distant weathers; the wave here is an index of weathers not here (in part). The water and waves visiblize and sonify the weather. Waves as memories of Other Weathers.


Marq DeVilliers, Windswept (2006).  In particular, we note that the last category on the Fujita Tornado Scale reads as follows:

Fujita 6, inconceivable tornado: Sustained windes of 319 to 379 mph, but no one will ever know, because all measuring devices would be destroyed, along with pretty well everything else.”

Also from DeVilliers: a “weather bomb” : “an explosive pressure change defined as a drop of 24 millibars in twenty-four hours with a central pressure below 1000 millibars” (156) as in:

“The combination was enough to turn the new system – Ivan Redux – into a weather bomb, which as we have seen is a slightly hysterical though still technically rigorous term, defined as a system that is already at less than 1000 millibars when it drops a further 24 millibars in twenty-four hours” (284) .

Future reading: James Hamilton Patterson, The Sea and Its Thresholds

The Weathering Report #3

Thursday 17 March, 2016.
John Woolley Building, University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW

Dry, stuffy. Dusty. Hot. Sweaty bodies. Sunlight from the window.

Small to medium chance of weathering report books in next 12 months. See Warnings Current.

Of increasing interest in the coming phase: temporalities of weather (predictive time / pre-emptive times) and instrumentalities of weather.

Bec’s tweets during the meeting, which lasted a few hours:




Milky mammalian weather brewing in Armidale Weather-Body. Bad skype connection.


  • Mid-term evacuation procedures for Weathering #4 under review:
    – Walter de Maria Lightning Field (US)
    – Fowler’s Gap, NSW (UNSW art research station)
    – Rocky Mountains back country
    – camping somewhere in AUS with John Wolseley
  • Conference presentations, late 2016 highly probable (ASLEC-ANZ Global Ecologies / Somatechnics, Byron Bay). Panel proposal or co-authored papers.
  • Hosting a walk/talk with Frances Bodkin of Mt Annan Botanic Garden, in Sept/Oct. Deep time climatology.
  • Series of occasional print publications – a kind of slow weather bulletin – that each document one exercise. Eg. An attempt to print the moon ?!

not available

Ernie Dillard – Total Eclipse

Exercise: Weather haikus

Date of exercise: Very early morning, post qi-gong
Location: Top of the hill
Weather conditions: still, bit of a breeze
Lead researcher: Rebecca
Findings: As follows


FullSizeRender copy


your cool morning breath
an exhale too quick, and slow
blows sleep from my eyes


night, curled up below
digs stealth channels in the dirt
(my body warming you)


o kookaburra!
your morning sense of humour
gets me every time.


But look at that sun!
punching well above its weight
(click click, click click click)


your pillowbreath –
a secret whispered to me
an alibi, also



Night sky at Ingar Dam
Foreign constellations swarm
and make me miss home.



Clouds on the horizon
Create a spectacular sunrise
That would be boring without them


The sunrise is slow
But what more do you expect
From feeling the earth turn


The sun is about to emerge
But I just got colder than before
Is that meteorology or my metabolism


On mornings like this
The flaw in my vision
Drives me crazy


Peach and grey start the day
Until sun crests the clouds
and then more colours emerge


But is the sunrise slow?
Not really, says deep time
But don’t call me a speck. I say back.


Now the sun is up
Looking where I looked before
is impossible. Too bright.



Embodying climate with Nigel Clark and Yasmin Gunaratnam

This is a fantastic article on race, bodies, deep time, deep futures and climate change:

Pre-Race Post Race: Climate Change and Planetary Humanism

Gunaratnam & Clark: “The current challenge is to find imaginative ways of reasserting the significance of bodily specficity while avoiding recourse to discredited geographical or environmental determinisms – and the raciologies they have previously supported”

2016-02-21 20.40.05

They ask: “How best might we reconnect with our varying bodily inheritances when heavy weather descends?”

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