Wet Togetherness [8]—Discharging: Cyan Cheng, Marco Ferrari and Elise Hunchuck presented by Shanghai Biennale

June 28, 2021 00:22:24

Rainmaking is a long-lasting human dream. Triggering water precipitation in air to combat water scarcity, drought, and global warming has driven spiritual cultural practices, scientific studies, and territorial conflicts. It has materialized in countless ceremonies, rituals, and other technologically enabled practices. Human ambition to tame the environment drives the proliferation of contemporary cloud seeding programs, which speaks about the political, ecological, and social consequences of the extraction of what is common.

Jingru (Cyan) Cheng, Marco Ferrari, and Elise Hunchuck talk about Sky River, a project supported by the Chinese government to work on the watershed of the Huang He (Yellow River) through weather engineering and aimed at mitigating the territory’s increasing drought conditions. Articulating a new planetary and atmospheric imaginary, Sky River positions the water that circulates in the upper atmosphere not as a natural occurrence but as an asset that can be secured through infrastructure. Precipitation is, in this context, a readily available water source that could be managed through a distributed network of cloud-seeding devices, while the tracking of weather patterns can be done via sophisticated remote-sensing technologies.

Sound Art, Climate change

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