(In progress) Conversations concerning the current state of the environment have become misconstrued and misunderstood, politicised and polarised. We are growing intellectually and computationally more equipped to gather and disseminate climate information, yet this information has been accused of being false, deceitful and pessimistic, of inciting panic. Weathering With Us is an attempt to carve a refuge from within all this noise, where one can contemplate climate information without the obfuscation of agenda and sway.
A rotating beam sits atop a bed of olivine sand, etching mandala patterns that are procedurally generated from environmental data. Carbon emission, pollution index, meteorological data feeds into the machine, which is then translated into data visualisations that represent the collective fingerprint of our actions.
The kinetic sculpture operates like a gravel rake, with mechanisms that actuate up and down as it rotates, etching the surface when they interface with the sand, allowing us to create endless patterns and configurations – the scribing pattern changing with every rotation.
The sand is ground olivine, a green volcanic mineral that is found abundantly in the Earth’s subsurface. When seawater meets olivine, a reaction occurs that pulls carbon dioxide out of the air and the carbon finds its way to the bottom of the sea as the shells and backbones of molluscs and corals, stored as carbon deposits. This process – mineral weathering – constitutes one of the Earth’s natural mechanism to regulate its carbon level and functions as an important carbon sink.
This project was inspired, in part, by the ambitions and efforts of Project Vesta, a non-profit working to further the olivine science of Coastal Enhanced Weathering (CEW) as a carbon capture technology to help mitigate climate change. It is hoped that the installation can be an artistic advocate for the carbon capture technology of olivine, highlighting this important scientific research to a broader audience.