Janine Randerson: Weather as Medium: Toward a Meteorological Art (2018)

21 February 2019, dusan

“An exploration of artworks that use weather or atmosphere as the primary medium, creating new coalitions of collective engagement with the climate crisis.

In a time of climate crisis, a growing number of artists use weather or atmosphere as an artistic medium, collaborating with scientists, local communities, and climate activists. Their work mediates scientific modes of knowing and experiential knowledge of weather, probing collective anxieties and raising urgent ecological questions, oscillating between the “big picture systems view” and a ground-based perspective. In this book, Janine Randerson explores a series of meteorological art projects from the 1960s to the present that draw on sources ranging from dynamic, technological, and physical systems to indigenous cosmology.

Randerson finds a precursor to today’s meteorological art in 1960s artworks that were weather-driven and infused with the new sciences of chaos and indeterminacy, and she examines work from this period by artists including Hans Haacke, Fujiko Nakaya, and Aotearoa-New Zealand kinetic sculptor Len Lye. She looks at live experiences of weather in art, in particular Fluxus performance and contemporary art that makes use of meteorological data streams and software. She describes the use of meteorological instruments, including remote satellite sensors, to create affective atmospheres; online projects and participatory performances that create a new form of “social meteorology”; works that respond directly to climate change, many from the Global South; artist-activists who engage with the earth’s diminishing cryosphere; and a speculative art in the form of quasi-scientific experiments. Art’s current eddies of activity around the weather, Randerson writes, perturb the scientific hold on facts and offer questions of value in their place.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2018
Leonardo series
ISBN 9780262038270, 0262038277
xl+233 pages



Theory, Culture & Society 23(2-3): Problematizing Global Knowledge (2006)

31 August 2016, dusan

In this special issue the TCS editorial board, along with colleagues in East and South-East Asia and other parts of the world, ventured in ‘encyclopaedic explorations’ in order to “rethink knowledge under the impact of globalization and digitization. The issue features over 150 entries and supplements on a range of topics which are addressed in terms of their relevance to knowledge formation, by contributors writing from a wide range of perspectives and different parts of the world. The entries and supplements are gathered under three main headings: metaconcepts, metanarratives and sites and institutions.”

Edited by Mike Featherstone, Couze Venn, Ryan Bishop and John Phillips, with Pal Ahluwalia, Roy Boyne, Beng Huat Chua, John Hutnyk, Scott Lash, Maria Esther Maciel, George Marcus, Aihwa Ong, Roland Robertson, Bryan Turner, Shiv Visvanathan, Shunya Yoshimi
With an Introduction by Mike Featherstone and Couze Venn
Publisher Sage, 2006
616 pages



Stefan Helmreich: An Anthropologist Underwater: Immersive Soundscapes, Submarine Cyborgs, and Transductive Ethnography (2007)

14 November 2014, dusan

“In this article, I deliver a first-person anthropological report on a dive to the seafloor in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s three-person submersible, Alvin. I examine multiple meanings of immersion: as a descent into liquid, an absorption in activity, and the all-encompassing entry of an anthropologist into a cultural medium. Tuning in to the rhythms of what I call the “submarine cyborg”—“doing anthropology in sound,” as advocated by Steven Feld and Donald Brenneis (2004)—I show how interior and exterior soundscapes create a sense of immersion, and I argue that a transductive ethnography can make explicit the technical structures and social practices of sounding, hearing, and listening that support this sense of sonic presence.” (Abstract)

Published in American Ethnologist 34(4), 2007, pp 621-641.

PDF (from the author, updated on 2016-8-25)