Sam Hertz & Desiree Förster on Deconstructing Clouds – Climate change


Talk curated by art&science researcher Desiree Förster and Sam Hertz (invited to illustrate his research project about infrasounds, in association with The University of Leeds/Opera North – DARE Prize)

Seminar with the students from The European Media Studies course (a co-operative project between the University of Potsdam Arts and Media Department) and the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam (Design Department).

Deconstructing Clouds Climate change is one of the major challenges of our time, and as a complex phenomenon a difficult issue to communicate for politics as well as for science. What is merely graspable in its global dimensions, often has a devastating impact on local levels, such as extreme weather conditions or crop failures. Often we lack the knowledge or the sense of perceiving these changes, and understand them as being part of a global development.

“Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning. Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight.” (literal translation from German: Evening Red – messenger of good weather. Morning Red warns of rain.) Reading of weather by rhyming country lores, still turned our grandparents’ generation into fortunetellers. Today we need new techniques to create a relationship with the rapidly developing and unpredictable weather phenomena. In this class, students from the departments of media sciences and design will research in interdisciplinary teams local weather changes, talk to farmers and other weather experts, reflect the current discourse on climate change, look at atmospheric media and sensing technologies, and produce their own written, visual and spatial schemes for alternative ways of reading the weather. The results can take on a variety of forms – from text-based and visual image analysis, to own visualisations and spatial installations of cloud models and measuring tools. A special focus will also lie on reflecting the political background of the climate discourse and its implications on media practice.

This encounter is a contribution by artist Sam Hertz & curator Desiree Förster – about making discoveries of our everyday environment, as well as of microscopic processes in the earth system and distant celestial bodies, that need to be newly understood, felt and measured.

more about Sam Hertz:

hear him about his current research project: