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PUBLIC 70: The Weather

Organization: PUBLIC: Art | Culture | Ideas
Categories: Popular Culture, Aesthetics, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Canadian Literature
Event Date: 2024-03-22 Abstract Due: 2024-03-22

Call for Contributions
PUBLIC 70: The Weather (Fall 2024)
Edited by Joel Ong
The seventieth issue of PUBLIC: Art | Culture | Ideas will investigate the historical, literary, and engineered history of the weather, focusing not only on the urgencies and contingencies of climate collapse brought to bear on “everyday” atmospherics, but also on the way nascent developments in climate mitigation, including plans for global geoengineering such as hyperlocal cloud seeding or marine cloud brightening, are shaping and complicating our changing relationship with the atmosphere. Amidst the urgency of anthropogenic climate change, the growing realization of our deep entanglement with the environment has brought new significance to the experience and sensory aesthetics of the weather, arising from cultural histories of elemental media and an emerging aesthetics of meteorological art. Increasingly, the non-site of the atmosphere—historically the invisible medium of celestial poetics—is being materialized, politicized, and visualized with aerial traffic, surveillance agents, electromagnetic signals, and all sorts of organic and inorganic compounds that infiltrate the metabolic cycles of the environment. As we live through what Christopher Prescott calls the “Synthetic Age,” geoengineering posits new strategies for weather modification to create a cooler global climate. But a fine balance must be struck, as capitalist designs on the commonwealth of the air become ever more privatized. 
Notwithstanding, notions of weather that are felt most deeply are not limited to the aforementioned definitions but instead belong to a long history of sensory aesthetics, environmental literature, and land art. How do these lineages help us describe the weather today, within the urgencies of our socio-cultural epoch? Talking “about the weather” has become a strategy for sharing affect, for locating solidarity, and for valuing agency within immense scales of conflict. In the way that Christine Sharpe describes weather as the “totality of the environments in which we struggle; the machines in which we struggle,” hyperlocal agencies and support networks provide novel conceptual models for the ways that metaphors of the weather and of “weathering” already story resilience as something deeply elemental.
This edition of PUBLIC therefore seeks to identify, articulate, and foster strategies and methodologies used by differently situated cultural workers who are investigating the poetic, sensual, aesthetic, and cultural inundation of the elemental within a growing technoscientific milieu. To do this, we welcome a variety of contributions, ranging from academic papers to artist projects to creative writing and poetry, as well as extended artist statements/reflections, interviews, and curatorial texts.   
We invite proposals that explore, but are not limited to, the following topics:
•       The “meteorological turn” in art and visual culture
•       Alternative etymologies, mythologies, and ontologies of the weather
•       Expressive intimacies between wind, breath, and spirit
•       Methodologies for strategic disruptions of settler-colonial mythologies, narratives, beliefs, systems, and structures of weather perception
•       Meteorological insurgencies and atmospheric interventions
•       Hyperlocal weather monitoring strategies
•       Weathering as a notion of resilience and/or persistence
•       Disruptive curatorial practices involving elemental artworks or phenomena
•       Extreme weather, aesthetics, and the sublime
•       Technologies for elemental sensing, forecasting and machine-aided forms of knowing (and their limitations)
Deadline: March 22nd, 2024 (by 11:59pm EDT)
For full details and to submit a proposal, visit www.publicjournal.ca/submit
For general inquiries, email public@yorku.ca
PUBLIC is committed to supporting a diversity of voices and perspectives in our publishing. We invite proposals from Black, Indigenous, and non-Indigenous scholars, artists, writers, and curators of all abilities, genders, and sexual orientations. 

The guest editor for this issue is Dr. Joel Ong.  Dr. Ong is a media artist whose works explore sensory aesthetics of the wind and the atmosphere at different scales of perception and within multi-species or multi-agent assemblages.  He is currently Associate Professor in Computational Arts and Helen Carswell Chair for Community Engaged Research in the Arts at York University and previous director of Sensorium: Centre for Digital Art and Technology.
PUBLIC: Art | Culture | Ideas is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that explores the intersection of visual cultures and critical studies. Since 1988, it has served as an intellectual and creative forum that focuses on the intersections of aesthetic, theoretical, and critical issues. In each themed issue, PUBLIC encourages a broad range of dialogue by bringing together artists, theorists, curators, philosophers, creative writers, and historians.



Zach Pearl, Managing Editor