Gallery Delfi, Malmö, Mars 2019
Sound and light installation, 6.20 min
Weather is a highly affective phenomenon that can evoke a strong sense of wonder, delight, or terror, as well as a myriad of other minor sensations each moment. The difference between weather and climate is simply a measure of time; from our daily experience of the sun that rises and sets, to the measure of an entity that spans across human lifetimes.
I have experienced many temperature records being broken, but the worst one so far came with the heat wave that swept over us last summer.
(Do you remember it? The heat. The drought. It was hot, it burned, it was persistent, it was unbearable. The fans were sold out throughout the country, people flocked to the sea - to a sea that no longer cooled our bodies.)
The lawns were yellow and faded, already by midsummer they were dry as bone - a water shortage and a total ban of fires prevailed for the rest of the summer. It was the first summer that the climate change could be felt as weather in Sweden. It was sweaty, it was baffling, it was outside our control, and most of all it was terrifying.
From the beginning of July, forest fires began to affect several parts of Sweden, and by the middle of the month around 50 forest fires raged simultaneously over large parts of the country. July 19th, SOS Alarm reported about 52 ongoing fires being fought. At this time, four fires were considered particularly difficult, perhaps impossible to extinguish under the prevailing weather conditions.
The starting point of Heat Wave is this feeling of control-loss when facing the immensity of climate change, the terror of the small signs of everyday weather somewhere subconsciously linked to an imminent threat, and our incapability to deal emotionally and rationally with this, as it happens right at our own doorsteps. The sound piece is based on a recording of one of the fires raging across Sweden last summer.