Fogo Island Arts (FIA) announces a new weather station on Fogo Island by artist Liam Gillick as part of the World Weather Network (WWN), a ground-breaking constellation of “weather stations” located across the world in oceans, deserts, mountains, farmland, rainforests, observatories, lighthouses and cities. WWN is comprised of artists and writers from twenty-eight arts organizations from across the world.
Liam Gillick’s A Variability Quantifier (The Fogo Island Red Weather Station), 2022 is an artwork intended to function as an operational weather station for Fogo Island. It gathers local weather data and is a place for education, reflection, and discussion. The site and work are open and people are encouraged to visit the weather station.
This work is being acquired by the National Gallery of Canada as part of its National Outreach initiative generously supported by Michael Nesbitt, in which artworks from the collection are sited and maintained at localities across the country. The work will be displayed on the island through October 2026, with stewards throughout this period generously supported by Steven & Lynda Latner.
A Variability Quantifier (The Fogo Island Red Weather Station), 2022 is curated by Claire Shea and Nicolaus Schafhausen of Fogo Island Arts in collaboration with Josée Drouin-Brisebois of the National Gallery of Canada.
About the Fogo Island Weather Station
With advice from partners in the local community, Liam Gillick developed A Variability Quantifier as a 2/3 scale model of a typical fishing stage structure, commonly found on Fogo Island. The structure is a framework for scientists and local community members to add meteorological instruments that are helpful in measuring and tracking local weather. It helps monitor changes connected to an increasing experience of the climate crisis. The interdisciplinary nature of this project takes this discussion out of an often-siloed sphere into new networks of visibility.
The structure is maintained as a site for measurement and experimentation. The base-level operation is a remote autonomous weather station gathering local climate data and sharing it online. The site is also used as a lab for the introduction of new monitoring and measuring equipment and specific targeted experimentation. As the project develops and local needs emerge, additional information will be garnered. The structure is RAL 3020 red, a colour Gillick often uses to indicate the tension between a functional framework and an artwork, integrated yet separate from its surroundings.
Gillick’s project for Fogo Island develops his interest in the origins of understanding climate science that has been present in several of his works. In recent years he has made specific reference to the work of the eminent Japanese-American climatologist Syukuro Manabe. Manabe, along with his colleagues, developed refined mathematical tools to model the atmosphere in the mid-1960s.