Andrea Polli

Professional weather station, mixed media
Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist, 2008

Hello, Weather! investigates cooperative media related to weather and climate observation and citizen science. The stations are wireless and solar powered and transmit data to an indoor receiver that logs the data and uploads it to a computer, and data from all stations is being saved locally for archiving and use in projects.The stations send weather data via WXsolution to one of three online sites that aggregate volunteer weather observer data and make it available to the public: Weather Underground, Anything Weather and The Cooperative Weather Observer Program (CWOP). In addition, there is updated online raw and custom-formatted data available. Here Art intersects with citizen science about the uncertainties of weather.

Andrea 3 copy

Film, 12’37’’
Courtesy of the artist, 2008

“I am delighted to see the discussion around ‚ground truth’ as it connects to a subject that I am passionate about – how to make ‘intimate’ the data we get from instruments.”
Roger Malina, The Leonardo Journal of Art, Science and Technology

For almost 100 years, throughout the world from Antarctica to Greenland to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, people have been stationed in remote, uncomfortable and sometimes hazardous locations for the sole reason of physically observing and recording the weather. Meteorologists, military and commercial pilots, air traffic controllers, and many others depend on this regular information, what they call ‚ground truth‘, despite the ubiquity of instruments that can provide precise and often much more detailed information without endangering human lives. Why, with all this sophisticated sensing instrumentation and satellite imagery, do we still depend on people on the ground looking up at the clouds? What is the meaning of ‚ground truth‘? The film Ground Truth attempts to answer these questions by following weather observers at the South Pole Station, McMurdo Station, and weather and climate scientists as they maintain and gather data from instruments at field sites on the Ross Ice Shelf and the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Ground Truth examines global climate change, human presence in these extreme environments and the inexorable connection between human life and the earth‘s natural cycles.

ground truth

Directed by: Andrea Polli. Videography and sound by: Andrea Polli and Tia Kramer.
Post-Production by: Brandon Lied, Greg O’Brien, Leslie Lavelanet, Linda Post and Andrea Polli.
Transcripts and graphics by: Klew Williams and Andrea Polli. Starring: Dr. Andreas Fischlin, Dr. Wolfgang Rack, Dr. Adam Lewis and Dr. Peter Doran, Hassan Basagic and Dr. Andrew Fountain, The Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research Group and Portland State University, Dr. John Cassano, The University of Colorado, Boulder, Victoria Sankovic, Katie Koster, Jeff DeRosa and Jonathan Tham. Supported by: The National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, The University of Colorado, Boulder Center for Humanities and the Arts, Department of Art and Art History, ATLAS Institute and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the PSC-CUNY Research Foundation.





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