This year saw the publication of a cartographic undertaking we’ve been cooking since 2016. It was commissioned by Chart Collective as part of Legend, an online edition of written work engaging with the potent fictional constructs we call maps.
Our piece, Weathering Station: The Weathering Map of Microclimates & Approximate Watery Bodies (2017), is an interactive map tracing out some specific microclimates that we find interesting, distributed as we are now rather widely across the hemispheres. Each of us wrote a text from a particular place; these were then used as the basis for a collective map (drawn by Tessa) of our various individual weatherings.
The map includes tiny adapted weather icons like those you might see in a forecasting app, as entry points into the texts. Selecting one brings up the nearest body of water to that writer’s location, which in turn takes you to one monster collective water body, mutating out of one of those rising global temperatures graph that we’ve been seeing quite a lot of lately:
“A small tempest swallowed, drought written on the skin, rivulets making their way from our insides to out, from watery womb to watery world: as much as we are weather, we are bodies of water. To map our belonging to the perspiring earth begins with the geography closest in.
This map registers our location in a hydrocommons of microclimates, local waters and wet bodies.”
Thanks to Chart Collective for the opportunity & stay tuned for a print version of the map at some point.
(… meanwhile, you may recall this behind-the-scenes despatch from Parc Tournay-Solvay, Brussels, to the Global Ecologies conference, posted previously in Weathering Report #4):
Getting ready for our contribution to Chart Collective, Tessa and Jen spent Wednesday afternoon discussing how to represent our collective microclimates on a “map” given 2/3rds of the collective were not in the same general location.
The questions of the discussion:
- How to represent weather that is not connected to place?
- How to represent a collaboration that is geographically unevenly spaced?
- What is the thing that links us?
- How to move from the epochal anthropocenic scale of climate change to the mundane, everyday personal microclimate?
Images of Weather Maps:
- Climate graphs represent time and are terrible ways of representing the lived experience of climate: https://theconversation.com/februarys-global-temperature-spike-is-a-wake-up-call-56341
- Old weather maps are pretty: https://www.kshs.org/cool3/graphics/weathermap1884.jpg / https://hvfarmscape.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/slide35.jpg (this map was drawn one week before Tessa’s grandmother left Germany).
- William Dawes’s first map of Sydney – a very incomplete grasp of place. Potentially analogous to our grasp of climate http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/image/4204572-3×2-700×467.jpg (possibly analogous to a weather map without place)
- Google offers no help on the question “how to represent time?” – https://www.google.com.au/search?q=how+to+represent+time&safe=off&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjcxY2lkpPOAhXIjZQKHcxhAvYQ_AUICCgB
- Tessa’s wind map is really interesting: https://weatherings.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/map1.jpg
We thought that the topographical layer of the standard weather map is limiting our imaginations and that climate and time
– PERSONAL MICROCLIMATE AS CITIZEN SCIENCE VERSION OF CLIMATE CHANGE The only way we get a sense of the average is through personal observation of trends
– REDUNDANT MICROCLIMATES OF OLD BUILDINGS / THE MICROCLIMATES OF INCOMPLETE RENOVATIONS – how the build environment and the ideologies of private property, stages of technological development and personal need intersect to produce microclimates
– THE WEATHERING MAP is more about climate than weather, old weather maps, however, provide a pool of resources for visualisation. Place does not unite us. We are united in our living present in this moment of epochal time.
[27/07/2016 6:24:17 pm] Jennifer Hamilton: To represent how these microclimates (repeatedly felt body weather) are linked to climate chage
[27/07/2016 6:24:31 pm] Jennifer Hamilton: repeatedly felt and/or observed
[27/07/2016 6:25:45 pm] Jennifer Hamilton: there is a duration to all these microclimates
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
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)
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.
Date of exercise: 29 January
Location: Cooks River near Gough Whitlam Park
Weather conditions: sunny, warm
Lead researcher: Jennifer
Findings: As follows
The task was to contemplate negative affect and weather, to consider personal tipping-points. The idea was to think through at what point we are all negatively impacted by the weather, what are the circumstances beyond the weather, what are the dimensions that make it annoying.
- Bike riding into a headwind
- Damp bedrooms in Sydney
- Dangerous icicles that hang off eaves that are actually lethal and thus the shelter provided by the eaves is moot.
- Similarly, trees in Western Australia that provide necessary shade, but randomly drop limbs in hot weather to support the life of the plant.