Gathering Lore

interactive video installation

Gathering Lore uses real-time environmental information from a locally installed weather station to interface with a database of weather folklore. Acting as a bridge between technology and historical folklore, this piece analyzes temperature, humidity, wind, rain, solar, and lightning information in order to display weather lore that corresponds to current conditions.

In the great Asian Tsunami of 2004 many animals knew of the impending danger. They were said to possess a sixth sense which warned them of the coming calamity that sent them searching for higher ground. Any trace that humans possess this sense is revealed in folklore: “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky in the morning, sailor take warning.” This folklore, based on observation and experience, is in essence, a dialogue with nature. It is a conversation in which we are losing fluency, perhaps even affinity for.

Our electronic systems of gathering environmental information differ only in precision from the weathercocks and Cape Cod glasses of yester-year, yet our increasing reliance on electronic sensation is dulling the remnants of our ‘sixth sense.’ This is occurring as the need to understand and adapt to the changing climate of our world has never been greater.