Abi Palmer Invents the Weather is part of The Artangel Collection and was comissioned for the The World Weather Network, a constellation of weather stations set up by 28 arts agencies around the world, formed in response to the climate emergency.
Initially live streamed on TANKtv, the films were released week by week in March 2023 with accompanying talk shows held between Palmer and special guests, including J.R. Carpenter, Sop and An(Dre)a Spisto, Gabrielle de la Puente and Nick Murray.
Abi Palmer Invents the Weather is a series of four short films by artist and writer Abi Palmer made collaboratively with her two cats, Cha-U-Kao and Lola Lola. Unable to reach the outside world during the Covid-19 pandemic, Palmer began a year-long process of performing the outside world for her indoor cats, translating each season into a cat-accessible format. The accompanying voiceover, written and narrated by Palmer, is a love letter to her cats and the climate, and explores the tensions between what we can and can’t control. The resulting films are a playful meditation on disability, climate, and life that can’t talk back.
Rain is the first film from the series of four, and it takes on a literal interpretation of the autumn season. Palmer goes through a lengthy process of trying to recreate petrichor, the earthy smell which happens when it rains.
Fog is the second film in the series which takes on a more abstract interpretation of the winter season. Fog explores Palmer’s own experience of brain fog and increased ill health over winter; clinging to the hope that nothing is permanent and “this too shall pass.”
Light is the third film in the series and is both a literal and abstract take on the spring season.
Heat is the final film. By this stage in the process, Palmer had been thinking about the weather and the climate crisis constantly for a year and is feeling unsettled. Palmer keeps asking herself the question: what is this project trying to do? Am I here to bear witness and grieve the death of a passing world? Or am I here to resist it?
London, 12 April 2023
Fog was shown as part of One Day I Will Feel My Power, an event held by the ICA and streamed online by Wysing Arts Centre, as part of Things I Have Learned The Hard Way: a multi-site celebration of the life and work of Lizzy Rose (1988 – 2022) taking place from Fri 31 March – Sun 23 April 2023.
Video works and readings were presented from Lizzy Rose, Leah Clements, R A Walden, Abi Palmer, Benedict Drew, Alice Hattrick, and Carolyn Lazard: artists who are friends and peers of Lizzy’s, many of whom formed her crip artist community.
Image: screening of Abi Palmer's Abi Palmer Invents the Weather: Fog, 2023. Photo: George Woolfe.
Since the online premiere on TANKtv, Abi Palmer Invents the Weather has been shown at: