Weather Uncontrol / New York  
Storefront for Art & Architecture and Marfa Dialogues/NY
2013 / 1,000 sq. ft.

Weather Uncontrol, presented with the Storefront for Art and Architecture, was an installation in the 2013 Marfa Dialogues/NY events. Coming just one year after Hurricane Sandy, the exhibit was a timely exploration of the invisible contaminants — silica, asbestos and gypsum — that linger in the air undetected, even by the insurance adjusters tasked with inspecting hurricane damage. The project recasts the term “air rights” as an interior issue, proposing that everyone has the right to breath uncontaminated air.

Collaborator:  Amanda Parkes (Robotics Engineering)
Awards:  Grant Award, 2012 New York State Council on the Arts
Grant Award, 2013 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Winner, 2016-17 Founders Rome Prize
Winner, 2017-18 NEA US-Japan Program

The indoor weather system is generated by two forms of contamination: artificial dust and static electricity. Two automated plotters generate static electric charges on a wall of paper. The dust, clinging to the paper, creates delicate and ephemeral drawings; abstractions based on contaminant levels in post-Sandy air samples. These drawings are invisible to the eye, only perceptible when the space is illuminated by ultraviolet lights; emphasizing the inefficiency of the insurance adjusters’ visual inspections.

As one plotter draws with positive ions, the other erases with negative ions. The erasure, rather than cleaning the air, causes more dust to gather on the drawing; highlighting the negative effects that remediation efforts often produce after the storm passes. In this way, Weather (Un)Control revealed the cyclical and invisible nature of air contamination, unseen and overlooked by the insurance companies that stake claim to our “air rights.”

Bustler, Online (December 2013)
Complex: Art and Design, Online (December 2013)
Archinect, Online (December 2013)

Project Team: Phu Hoang, Rachely Rotem, Kamilla Csegzi, Sara Dionis Sevilla, Chad Murphy, Evan Collins

Credits: Amanda Parkes/Skinteractive Studio (Robotics Engineering), Zack Freedman (Fabrication), Brett Beyer (Photography)

Copyright 2017 by MODU Architecture, PLLC