Dubai, UAE

Art Jameel

The perimeter colonnade creates a courtyard space beyond, Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai. Courtesy of Art Jameel, Photo by Rory Gardiner
Jameel Arts Centre. Photo by architectural photographer Beno Saradzic
Jameel Arts Centre. Courtesy of Art Jameel, Photo by Rory Gardiner

About this weather station

THE ARABIAN GULF

Art Jameel’s weather station in the Arabian Gulf explores the central climatic marker of atmospheric humidity in the form of three podcasts that report on the themes of the Threshold, Sweat and Labour, and Technofutures.   

The weather station is physically located in the desert gardens and library of the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, where air-to-water generators provide audiences with humidity readings and drinking water.   

Thresholds

What is the lineage of the acceptable ‘threshold’ in relation to changing climatic conditions? How can we translate climate data, such as temperature thresholds, to meaningful and real world effects and affects? In relation to inhabitation, working conditions and the preservation of artworks, what is the historical context of optimal climate thresholds? What drives the impetus to control climate, preserve artworks ‘for future generations’ when the act of preservation itself necessitates destruction elsewhere and over time? Can we rethink how we might preserve life, and art, more holistically, by questioning the logic of thresholds?

Sweat & Labour

Our bodies sweat to cool. Some bodies sweat more than others. What happens when sweat fails? Humid heat will arguably be the most underestimated direct, local risk of climate change – affecting biological systems and how our bodies cool. How do we appreciate these changes in the humid heat, and how does that change our perception of labouring in our accelerated metropolises. How do we shift our concerns from ‘labour loss’ due to environmental impacts, towards privileging the experiences of migratory labour, and the work/life conditions of the labouring bodies enabling our imagined worlds?

Technofutures and other-than-human agencies

Infinite water is at hand and imagined for perpetual harvest, where air to water generators and cloud seeding sorties drip and pour wet air into containers and aquifers that quench a climate stretched thirst, while nightly fog moves and creeps across the sand, sea and city in the dark. It witnesses, senses and feels entropy unlike any of us. What does ‘humidity’ look like from the near future -- another readily available resource or a climate to be controlled? What does radiating, advecting moist air see, hear and carry that we do not?

Podcast episodes will be launched regularly from November 2022.  Alongside the podcasts, Art Jameel will present related content from its exhibitions and public programmes, including the group exhibition ‘An Ocean in Every Drop’, that explores our relationship to water through myth, ritual and the body.  The exhibition runs from September 21 2022 to March 26 2023.

Artists: Saira Ansari, Nadim Choufi, Nadine Khalil, Nidhi Mahajan, Deepak Unnikrishnan and others.

Commissioned by Art Jameel for World Weather Network.

ART JAMEEL

Art Jameel supports artists and creative communities. Founded and supported by the Jameel family philanthropies, the independent organisation is headquartered in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Art Jameel’s programmes – across exhibitions, commissions, research, learning and community-building – are grounded in a dynamic understanding of the arts as fundamental to life and accessible to all.  

Art Jameel’s two institutions – Hayy Jameel, a dedicated complex for the arts in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Jameel Arts Centre, an innovative contemporary institution in Dubai, UAE – are complemented by digital initiatives plus collaborations with institutional partners and a network of practitioners across the world.

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