learning the signals – main

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On-site documentation: Photo: Brian Ricks, courtesy of the Bonavista Biennale.

Learning the Signals/Change is Coming [2021, ongoing]
Participatory project, website (fore-cast.ca), various material outputs.

Learning the Signals/Change is Coming considers strategies for anticipating the weather. Part of the larger series FORECAST, which considers the entanglement between environmental, social, political, and economic challenges facing the current moment, this participatory work looks more directly to the weather itself as a tool to help sense and predict the trajectory we are heading toward.

Learning the Signals looks to weather prediction as a strategy for speculating about future climate; to find strategies for dealing with and making sense of the ways we deal with and prepare for the future issues we face (climate change, economic, social and political strife, for example); and, ultimately, to develop an algorithm to anticipate the future based on data gathered from participatory engagement. The core of the project takes the form of an instruction set based on prompts that are provided to participants via a website. Participants are invited to think about the changing weather; consider the ways in which weather impacts their daily life; take note of shifts to the weather due to climate change; and, to develop new ways of sensing broader societal shifts based as they might relate to the weather itself. Essentially, the project wonders how the often invisible impacts of the weather and strategies we rely on internally for its prediction (how the air smells or tastes, for example) might help to develop new approaches for larger issues in creative ways.

From these shared observations, along with research into known strategies for anticipating shifts in the weather, a sort of (human) algorithm is developed in an attempt to forecast future weather.

The project has a number of iterations as well as various material outputs:
2021: Learning the Signals/Change is Coming (Bonavista Biennale edition)

2023: Learning the Signals/Change is Coming (DesignTO edition)

2023: i made it through the wilderness – Making Art Through Climate Change residency program at Gibraltar Point.

Learning the Signals is part of the larger project: FORECAST which has its own website and includes additional projects under its overall umbrella: the air we breathe; and IT’S ALL ABOUT LETTUCE.