In response to the global climate emergency, SAHA—Supporting Contemporary Art from Turkey has joined 27 arts organisations across the world to form the World Weather Network, a ground-breaking constellation of "weather stations" located across the world in oceans, deserts, mountains, farmland, rainforests, observatories, lighthouses, and cities.
SAHA positions the historical watchtower Galata Tower situated just across from SAHA office, as the symbolic weather station of Istanbul. Within the scope of the World Weather Network, SAHA collaborates with m-est.org (Merve Ünsal, Özge Ersoy), who commissions seven artists and artist collectives to report on the weather through their artistic practices in text-based works as well as public programming spread across Turkey. Under the editorship of m-est.org, SAHA Art Writing series aims to address artistic strategies to measure, report, fabulate, and tell stories about the weather, air flows, circulation, and other high to low pressure aspects our practices and cities.
Through this collaboration, Elmas Deniz, Can Küçük, and Burcu Yağcıoğlu were invited to the fifth term of SAHA Studio in June 2022. The new works of the artists who have been continuing their research and production at SAHA Studio since June 2022 were shared with the audience during the SAHA Studio Open: World Weather Network days held in March 2023 accompanied by a selection from other participants of the project and a series of events.
You may find the list of published contributions and events' information here.
Event: Is There Any Snow?
Saturday, 17 June 2023
Artist Burcu Yağcıoğlu's performance lecture explores the bacteria called P. syringae as well as the relationship between bio-techno-culture and climate change. The event builds on Yağcıoğlu's eponymous article published on m-est.org in April 2023, exploring snow as a microbiological, historical, touristic, evolutionary, and technological phenomenon. Commissioned for the World Weather Network and with the invitation of SAHA, this series asks: how do artists respond to ideas of change, crisis, and future, focusing on various elements of the weather as an embodiment at the intersection of bodies, peoples, and landscapes? The event will be held in Turkish.
Can Küçük & Selin Karcı (Alt Üst)
Saturday, 21 January 2023
12-3 pm: Workshop
3-4 pm: Talk
The workshop organized collaboratively by SAHA Studio artist, Can Küçük and Alt Üst’s co-founder, Selin Karcı on Saturday, 21 January, has the objective of producing a banner by upcycling fabric materials such as clothing, bags, uniforms, or hats brought by workshop participants, without employing any letters, words, or verbalizations. Following conversations regarding the social as well as the ecological aspects of fabric as both a product and waste, the workshop focuses on the process of cutting an object open, making use of its scraps, and piecing them together as another volume under Nayira Sirop’s technical guidance, while exploring the potentials of the material for constituting a language and a form of expression. Subsequently open to general audience, a talk is organized to delve into the process and the outputs of the workshop with its organizers along with its participants.
Important note: The workshop between 12-3 pm is limited to 20 participants. To reserve a spot, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Necessary tools, equipment, and materials will be provided at the workshop. The participants are invited to bring apparels or items such as bags and hats made of sturdy fabrics like jean, linen, or canvas that they wish to use in the workshop. Fabrics that have a more flowing texture, such as hosiery and tulle may be used in the making of the banner. The talk organized at 3 pm as the second part of the event is in Turkish and requires no registration.
Photo: Kıvılcım S. Güngörün
Exhibition: World Weather Network
Art Sonje Project Space & (TOGETHER)(TOGETHER)
13 October - 20 November 2022
SAHA Studio artists, Elmas Deniz and Burcu Yağcıoğlu’s works are invited to the exhibition at Art Sonje Project Space in Seoul, Korea within the scope of World Weather Network.
Mounted at two venues, Art Sonje Project Space and (TOGETHER)(TOGETHER), the exhibition introduces the 28 weather stations and their projects, in addition to exhibiting actual works that have been selected through conversations with nine of the arts organizations, including Elmas Deniz’s two-channel video work, “Sorrow” shot in the Floodplain Forests in the Marmara Region, and Burcu Yağcıoğlu’s artist book co-authored with artist Ülgen Semerci, titled “Firewalk”.
For more info, visit: www.worldweathernetwork.com
In early autumn 2022, I decided to embark on a road trip to the fringes of Istanbul, as a response to the SAHA commission on climate change. The term ‘road trip’ usually implies travelling to an unknown destination for a substantial amount of time. In my case, it was reformulated into an express three-day personal exploration of my own city. The following is my journal regarding some of the encounters and events that took place between 15 September and 17 September 2022 in the metropolitan districts of Sultangazi, Cebeci, Paşaköy, Kemerburgaz and Karaburun: a report on the investigation of a presumed familiar but in fact totally alien topography. – Yusuf Sevinçli
What at first glance seemed a small-scale exploration of the urban periphery transcended, in a compressed period of time, the experience of the ‘city’ I frequent. An entirely different world exists twenty minutes’ drive away from Taksim Square. Various of the places I photographed – anonymous to most of Istanbul’s indifferent residents – arose before my eyes as an inhospitable and uncanny no man’s land. This abrupt transition from the places I knew to locations I had presumably read about or heard of in the news (but with which I was unfamiliar in essence), led me to confront in awe the scale of my city – how brutally vast, inhumane, and insanely out of control Istanbul is right now.
Half an hour north from Taksim lies Başakşehir. The area connecting the new airport with the highway which destroyed the last remaining untouched forest zone of the peninsula is now a jungle of concrete, asphalt and skyscrapers. It corresponds to a scale beyond human imagination. Experiencing it at first hand was different from knowing.
Experiencing was also distinct from knowing in the case of the old marble quarry fields which are situated in Cebeci, again a half hour’s drive from the city centre. Located at the heart of a historical landscape, the quarries dig deep into the earth, a fathomless bullet hole. Ten minutes into the drive, and you find yourself at the Mağlova Aqueduct, a heritage site of international significance, which brought water from Belgrad Forest and Kemerburgaz to the city centre. Confronting these different layers of the city next to each other is overwhelming.
I met very few people during my wanderings. One of them was a sixty-year-old man, who was walking around in the middle of nowhere near the marble quarries in Cebeci. According to his own words, he had taken a stroll from where he lives out of boredom and to get some fresh air. His drift amid a landscape devastated by unregulated industrialisation, where there is nothing to see and to enjoy, is the manifestation of an absurd anti-natural cohabitation.
On the third day of my road trip, I found myself in Karaburun by the Black Sea, close to the New Istanbul Airport. From the crowded beach we could see the aeroplanes approach us. We drove for five minutes into the hills, and found ourselves at the tip of the airport runway. In the surrounding area were shepherds with their sheep and people gardening by their humble dwellings, and around them a contaminated wasteland of inexistent vegetation. Planes were flying only a few metres on top of us; you could feel the ground shaking and even the shepherds’ dogs became panicked because of the buzzing sound of the engines. The proximity of the packed beach, the shepherds and the community gardens to the huge airport produces a striking contrast. One of the most ambitious, largest, and award-winning airports in the world, and when you turn your back, a different reality to confront: an environmental disaster.
With the courtesy of the artist. Commissioned within the scope of SAHA Studio program and produced with the support of SAHA.
About World Weather Network
The world's weather is not what it was. We see glaciers melting and water levels rising. Some lands are flooded and others are parched. Everywhere is heating up. Formed in response to the climate emergency, the World Weather Network is a constellation of weather stations set up by 28 arts agencies around the world and an invitation to look, listen, learn, and act. From June 21 2022 to June 21 2023, artists, writers and communities will share observations, stories, reflections and images about their local weather, creating an archipelago of voices and viewpoints. Engaging climate scientists and environmentalists, the World Weather Network brings together diverse world views and different ways of understanding the weather across multiple localities and languages. Climate scientists, environmentalists and communities will participate in a wide-ranging programme of special events held in each location and online through the platform. Through the course of the year, the London Review of Books are commissioning special reports from writers based in many of the locations in the World Weather Network.
ARTINGENIUM, San Sebastián
ART JAMEEL, Dubai
ARTSONJE CENTER, Seoul
BUNDANON, New South Wales
DHAKA ART SUMMIT, Bangladesh
ENOURA OBSERVATORY, Japan
NICOLETTA FIORUCCI FOUNDATION, Grasse
FOGO ISLAND ARTS, Newfoundland
FONDAZIONE SANDRETTO RE REBAUDENGO, Torino
HOLT-SMITHSON FOUNDATION, New Mexico
ICELANDIC ARTS CENTRE, Reykjavik
IHME HELSINKI, Helsinki
KHOJ, New Delhi
RUYA FOUNDATION, Iraq
SOPHIA POINT, Guyana
TERRA FOUNDATION, Comporta
TE TUHI, Aotearoa / New Zealand
UCCA, Beijing / Qinhuangdao
YINKA SHONIBARE FOUNDATION, Lagos / Ijebu
32 DEGREES EAST, Uganda
For one year starting on 21 June 2022, artists and writers share "weather reports" in the form of observations, stories, images and imaginings about their local weather and our shared climate, creating an archipelago of voices and viewpoints on a new global platform. Whilst each organisation is reporting on their local weather, every one of these "weather stations" is connected by the over-heating of the world’s atmosphere. The World Weather Network presents alternative ways of responding to the world’s weather and climate, and is an invitation to look, listen, learn and act.
Offering different ways of looking at, listening to, and living with the weather, writers and artists’ weather reports will be shared on the World Weather Network platform from each location: the Himalayas, the Mesopotamian Marshes in Iraq and the desert of the Arabian peninsula; the Great Salt Lake in Utah and the ‘Great Ocean of Kiwa’ in the South Pacific; ‘iceberg alley’ off the coast of Newfoundland, the waters of the Baltic Sea and the Arctic Circle; a tropical rainforest in Guyana and farmland in Ijebu in Nigeria. Artists and writers are working in observatories in Kanagawa in Japan and Manila in the Philippines; looking at cloud data in China and lichens in France; lighthouses on the coast of Peru, the Basque Country and the Snaefellsness peninsula in Iceland; and cities including Dhaka, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, and Seoul.
Founded in 2011, m-est.org is an online publication, conceived as an artist-centered initiative. Works by artists, studio visits, articles based on and related to conversations on visual practices are published on m-est.org, imagined as a virtual discussion space. Artists and cultural practitioners trace issues of concern or curiosity publicly on m-est.org. The focus on artists from Turkey reiterates a widening network of people, starting with where we are, to explore where we are going to go, limited only by our own interests, associations, and affinities. One of the founding principles of m-est.org is that it is and always will be free to access online.
About the London Review of Books
In parallel with the World Weather Network, every two weeks throughout the year, there will be a new dispatch from a London Review of Books contributor covering an aspect of the climate or weather at one of the WWN locations, published as an LRB newsletter and on the LRB and World Weather Network websites. These include Rosa Lyster on lightning in Johannesburg, Skye Arundhati Thomas on the heat in Delhi, Mimi Jiang on the air in Beijing, Izzy Finkel in Istanbul, and Adewale Maja-Pearce reporting from Lagos.
To read Izzy Finkel's text: The Weather in Istanbul, July 2022, London Review of Books