THE WEATHER WAR, 2012
THE WEATHER WAR, 2012
The idea of creating a protective shield against tornadoes was formulated in 2004 by the Russian scientist Vladimir Pudov, at the Institute for Experimental Meteorology, Obninsk. In 2007, we travelled to Obninsk to interview him for our film, The Weather War. (…). We were intrigued by the scope of his idea of being able to affect the most powerful weather phenomenon on earth, and decided to take up the challenge and build it for him.
Bigert & Bergström, excerpt from field-guide The Storm, 2012
The Weather War is a documentary/art film and collection of sculptures about man’s attempts to control the weather. In a blend of land art performance and road movie, Swedish artist duo Bigert & Bergström travelled to the Mid-West of the US at the end of May 2011 together with Canadian meteorologist and storm chaser Mark Robinson. Their goal was to hunt down a tornado and place an invention - The Tornado Diverter - in front of the approaching twister. This sculptural machine, built on a theory by Russian scientist Vladimir Pudov, radiates 100.000 negative volts and will repel the positive charge of the tornado, which the theory holds to be the reason for it to touch ground.
Along the way, we see historical examples of how the science of meteorology developed in symbiosis with military goals and how these visions evolved into modern ideas of geo-engineering. These controversial ideas with socio-political consequences spotlight the big question of who is really entitled to modify weather.
In STUK, the film and Tornado Diverter are flanked by a selection of sculptures and objects extracted from the film; Churchtower, 2012, points towards Italy’s dual approach to protecting vineyards, from religious faith to anti-hail cannons, Watershed, 2012 references Bangladesh floods and Joplin Trees, 2012, documents the aftermath of the destructive tornado wiping out parts of Joplin, USA on May 22nd, 2011.
In a broader perspective, The Weather War touches on the problems faced worldwide due to global climate change. How do we behave to meet those challenges? Do we adapt? Or do we wage war against increasingly aggressive weather phenomena?
Bigert & Bergström (SE)
°1965, Stockholm & °1962, Stockholm
Mats Bigert and Lars Bergström are an artist duo living and working in Stockholm, Sweden. Throughout their career, Bigert & Bergström have produced and created large-scale installations and public works, sculptures and film projects. Often with a conceptual edge, the core of their work is placed at the junction between humanity, nature and technology, and investigates scientific and social topics discussed in contemporary society. They are represented by Gallery Niklas Belenius, Stockholm, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin and Cis Art Lodgers, Barcelona.