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Cooling Station: Worldwide Geoengineering and Local Weather Making

Activity: Public engagement and outreachFestival/Exhibition

Dr Kathryn Yusoff - Participant

25/06/201221/07/2012

The exhibition “Cooling Station” addresses in an art-science context the topic of large-scale interventions in the global climate system to counter climate change and investigates strategies for the manipulation of local and regional weather conditions.

Strategic interventions in local weather situations attempt to minimize agricultural losses with anti-hail rockets, create artificial rain through cloud seeding, and guarantee sunshine and good weather for political appearances at military parades or the opening ceremony of major sporting events – not to mention the belligerent use of weather manipulation. Like they said in the Cold War: “Who controls the weather, controls the world.” Geoengineering technologies which are more oriented toward the global climate system – and often border on artistic projects or science fiction – aim to combat climate change through cooling the planet via the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere. Such strategies include covering extensive areas with synthetic, seemingly utopian trees that can absorb infinitely more CO2 than their natural counterparts or the reduction of solar radiation on the earth by creating whiter, more reflective clouds and painting streets and roofs white (albedo effect). The repercussions and side effects of these experiments and field tests on natural and cultural habitats are unpredictable and pose ethical and geopolitical questions.

The interdisciplinary exhibition “Cooling Station” is a publically accessible laboratory that investigates the interplay between the local microclimate, regional weather, and the phenomenon of global climate change – and their potential manipulation. The scope of the works ranges from concrete investigations of weather and climate phenomena in various parts of the world to poetic, detached approaches to nature, its design, and its mutability. A museum-like prolog and thematic set up introduces the Cooling Station exhibition. Both artifact and fiction, this museum collects exemplary documents, objects, and stories that particularly address the themes of weather, climate, or climate change and their intentional influencing and manipulation. An informative and at the same time controversial juxtaposition of the historic, poetic, and experimental generates an atmospheric link between art, science, nature, pop culture, technology, and politics.

Related Event Information

EventExhibition
TitleCooling Station: worldwide geoengineering and local weathermaking
Date25/06/1221/07/12
CountrySwitzerland
CityKrakauebene