WORK 16 / SOCIETY / WEATHER

WEATHER 01/12 I keep track of the weather using a scale of RGB values. Every morning I use one of these values to label the weather of the previous day. The scale consists of 6 temperature zones characterize by 6 colours, respectively red, yellow, green, cyan, blue and purple. To these colours, 6 furthers variations going from a pure colour to a gradually darker one are provided to map the weather conditions. For example, an autumn sunny day in Canada could be represented by a fully bright green which corresponds to the RGB value 000, 240, 000. A rainy autumn day following the clear and sunny day where the temperature keeps however in the same range, would be represented by a darker green which is represented by the RGB value 000,080,000. If in the following day I fly out to Porto Rico and the weather there is really hot but a bit cloudy I am likely to use a slightly dark red represented by the RGB value 200,000,000 (Fig. Screenshot of possibly a summer month with quite some variations of both temperature and sun. These kind of months with high variations usually correspond to my time spent in my native alps from which I might descend or ascend to respectively higher or lower temperatures but also it can represent a month in which I have been traveling from for example the rainy cold north of Europe to the dry hot south where however a powerful storm might be occurring).

WEATHER 02/12 Extremely warm days are generally experienced in hot countries such as in the summer of 2011 when I worked as a volunteer in Palestine. They are represented by red colours with the following RGB values: 240,000,000, 200,000,000, 160,000,000, 120,000,00, 080,000,000 and 040,000,000. Very warm days are experienced usually at the beginning or at the end of the summer or even during the summer when I am for example in my mountain village a thousand meters above the sea level. These days are represented by yellow colours with the following RGB values: 240,240,000, 200,200,000, 160,160,000, 120,120,000, 080,080,000 and 040,040,000. Quite warm days are experienced in the early spring or late autumn especially during the time I spend up north like visiting my son in Sweden or keeping with my youngest children in the Netherlands where the weather is warmer. These days are represented by green colours with the following RGB values: 000,240,000, 000, 200,000, 000,160,000, 000,120,00, 000,080,000 and 000,040,000 (Fig. Illustrated table showing the values utilized to map the daily weather conditions in relations to the temperature range represented by actual colours. Looking at this table I can assign I can grade the weather of the previous day. Later the value is to be rendered using an RGB light beam gradually shifting from one value to another).

WEATHER 03/12 Shifting to colder colours, quite cold is experienced while living in the Netherlands in the middle of the winter. Here I have to barely wear any gloves although it is quite cold. These days are represented by cyan colours with the following RGB values: 000,240,240, 000, 200,200, 000,160,160, 00,120,120, 000,080,080 and 000,040,040. Very cold is experienced generally when it gets so cold that I have to wear gloves. By this time there is some ice and likely also some snow as it can occur in the Netherlands late in the winter. These days are represented by blue colours with the following RGB values: 000,000,240, 000, 000,200, 000,000,160, 000,000,120, 000,000,080 and 000,000,040. Extremely cold is experienced after snow storms when the temperature drops far below zero degrees celsisus. In continental Europe this temperature range can be rare but it did occur during for example the winter of 2020. These days are represented by purple colours with the following RGB values: 240,000,240, 200, 000,200, 160,000,160, 080,000,080 and 040,000,040 (Fig. A picture of showing me walking outside Berlin during a very cold end of the winter there. It was said that the unusual cold weather was brought from Russia. In these cold circumstances I try to re-experience both my grandfather retreat across Russia in the winter of 1942 as well as my father's life living as a homeless in Canada).

WEATHER 04/12 So far throughout my project I have experienced all sort of weather conditions such as the harsh Scandinavian winters and the milder Dutch temperatures. Beside I have also experienced the extreme heat waves hitting southern Europe during the summer. Perhaps what I have not been regularly experiencing are very extreme cold conditions. This is probably due to the global warming effect that has literally took place significantly throughout the course of the project. In this respect I was able to document not only the first “musta talvi” or “black winters”, the winters without snow now so common in Scandinavia; I have also experienced unprecedented heat affecting my native country. I was born in the Altopiano dei Sette Comuni, an highland that was named the Finland of the alps for its cold winters. Right in the course of my project these winters have also vanished and the ski-lifts I used as a young boy have been abandoned. While a an actual winter might come occasionally, the almost subtropical weather is now characterized by unheard of phenomenas such as devastating hurricanes wiping out entire forests as well as powerful floods (Fig. Screenshot of the undefinable weather I have often experienced in the course of my project. By being aware of the weather I became more aware of how erratic it all became).

WEATHER 05/12 Over the years I not only got convinced that the natural areas at the edge of the civilized world are the first ones to be affected; I understood that their inhabitants should be listened to as actual oracles to guide our sustainable future. Not only oceanic islands getting increasingly under water but also mountains gradually loosing their glaciers in habitat of the kind have been at the forefront of these catastrophic changes. I believe that as a young man I rather intuitively migrated away from the south of Europe to go in a less weather affected north; only the nationalistic response of Nordic people has pushed me back south. Presently I have found somewhat of a balance in keeping in the center, the Netherlands right next to a river carrying alpine water to the sea, a sea which one day will grow too high and won't allow the water to flow out anymore causing eventually a great flood which even the most ingenious Dutch might not be able to contain (Fig. Screenshot showing me checking the sunrise after spending a cold night with my son in a tent of a Swedish campsite. I wanted to share the beginning of the spring with my oldest son but the camping owner thought we were illegal migrants and tried to give me a beating in front of him. It was not due to the weather but due to these prejudices that I at last left the nature of the north I so much felt integrated with).

WEATHER 06/12 Later in my life I settled in the Netherlands where I spent most of my time especially with the globe becoming less global and hard to be explored. There I was able to experience a rather settled weather yet always baring in mind that such stability may one day be disrupted by the continuously increasing water level. In this respect I have kept a foot in a corner of my native mountains, the place where I have ultimately decided to build the project museum as some sort of an ark of life waiting for a new beginning after such catastrophic climate changes I have been recording. In this respect my overall undertaking seems to be like that of a Noah just waiting for eventually reaching the shore of a mountain. The various works of the project can be seen as not only what I have gathered prior a sudden deluge but during a gradual catastrophy (Fig. Screenshot showing me checking the nice autumn weather right as I woke up. Such sunny days usually make me restless and unable to keep indoor. In this respect without the gray days of northern Europe I would have never been able to develop this project; it requires a good deal of time spent indoor. Perhaps the project became my way to mitigate my adventurous life in a South which with time became way too sunny and unbearable. The project then becomes the diary of an individual gradually abandoning on a space ship life on earth).

WEATHER 07/12 To some extent I have also come to believe that the weather under our celestial vault corresponds to the actual heat we generate in our head. Under our cerebral vault we as humans are getting too overworked by all the intellectual, brainy requirements of our the digital age. I have often speculated that perhaps by chilling out mental state also the temperatures of our planet might decrease. Interestingly it is to be noted that in the many deluge myths spread around the globe only the most famous one, the one of Noah was sent by god to punish humans for their sinful existence. In most of the other myths and especially in the oldest ones the flood was sent by god to the earth only because humans were being too noisy. While then they did not commit any particular sin, the humans victims of the great deluge where simply disturbing god. Perhaps then a more silent and less heptic and technology driven approach to life can be more self-preserving (Fig. Screenshot showing me experiencing the rising sun as it rises after spending a night drving across Germany to reach my native alps. To some degree the project gave I a balance between spending time in the cool nature and exposing myself in the heat of social interaction. In later years unforeseen circumstances got me quite reclusive and I limited my socializing to my family and children but also a handful of friends).

WEATHER 08/12 On a regular basis I record the value of a day right in the morning although at times I am awake way too early and it is too dark out to actually understand what the day will be like. It could be also winter out and the daylight might get me to wait until it is light to determine what the weather is going to be like. On the other hand I became most skeptical about the actual weather forecast I could actually consult on-line. I find them at times vague and at times wrong and overall quite depressing. In the Netherlands for example if I look at the weather forecast reported on Google search engine I can only see two consecutive weeks of rain. As it often turns out in reality each and every day has its on nuances with sudden rays of sun and perhaps a rain so thin it does not bother. In this respect one should not get affected too much by such weather predictions. With time, given the highly various weather I can experience, I began assigning an RGB value to the day just past rather than the day to come (Fig. Screenshot of the weather forecast I at times consult. While giving a sense of what the weather could be like the forecast is usually most misleading and I try to avoid it in order not to hinder myself to do anything outdoor. Too often it erroneously forecast a weather resulting in fact in a good day with only some rain. A forecast can be however good to keep an eye on more extraordinary events).

WEATHER 09/12 Secondly I have noticed that there is barely the same type of daily weather patterns repeating themselves. These weather patterns progressively shift and slowly transform themselves into the opposite pattern. As with climate change the weather became very erratic this transformation as become more present. On one hand then I can acknowledge that the more the scientific man tries to predict nature, the more the latter becomes unpredictable. On the other hand I can see that a more shamanic figure is needed to gain a more holistic and transcendental understanding of these transformations. While I do not use my data to create any kind of model so as to demonstrate a certain trend and predict what is going to happen to climate, I believe that the very act of being personally aware of the weather contributes to a in depth understanding of the wild changes occurring to what we thought as fully understood and under our human control. Moreover I am convinced that if humans would opt for such a more contemplative practice of weather acknowledging they would pollute less and in turn the weather would settle back to its original cycles (Fig. Screenshot from my one room apartment in Stockholm. From here I easily kept track of the weather even though I had to keep indoor to pursue my short-lived career as a researcher. Beside for this period my days are spent outdoor).

WEATHER 10/12 Frigo, my last-name, literally means fridge. This suits well my activity of sampling different aspects of reality into one big fridge. My current last-name however was made Italian from German and might me related to the goddess Freya or to the name Frederich. It might also be an indication that my ancestors have been living in colder weathers or next to a cave where food was kept frozen. Nonetheless Frigo might relate to cold environments yet not too humid like Quebec where my father suffered severe rheumatism nor too dark like Scandinavia where one may feel quite depressed. Generally in my life I have sought for places that are cold and solar, often the very weather of young mountain chains like the alps and the rockies. Nonetheless I have pretty much been able to adapt to all other weathers finding right in the flat of the Netherlands the possibility to experience them all in once. This is contrary to the more predictable Swedish weather. In a way then I am exposed to a sea like weather during the winter and to the mountain unpredictable weather of the alps in the summer (Fig. Screenshot of a month of weather tracking with the very annotations I added to later write about this month production as part of my accounts. It is not so seldom that values repeat themselves often escalating to good weather and deescalating to bad weather within the actual month I experience).

WEATHER 11/12 James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson are some of the artists that I took in consideration when conceiving the outcome of this work, namely a beamer reproducing the colours I associated to the daily weather. While I have been experimenting with actually reproducing the colours in such fashion programming a microprocessor in connection with RGB lights, I have never had the opportunity to publicly show this piece. It is anyway supposed to work as some kind of compendium, a background atmosphere to the works of this project that require the visitors more cognitive attention. Beside showing it privately in my barn in the alps, the closest I got to exhibit this work was in the Stockholm observatory from which the light could also be projected outside over the already light polluted city. At the beginning of the project I also developed with Arijana Kajfes, a Swedish based Serbian artist an helmet for blind people reproducing with a sensor in a finger the experienced RGB colours (Fig. Visual rendering of the ideal exhibition. Using the video-game engine Unity I was able to simulate the RGB lighting of the space. Previously I also used to tween the colours using Flash, an old software for website animations. Later however I opted to keep the data as it is so as to one day feed a purposely programmed RGB light beam).

WEATHER 12/12 In an ideal exhibition setting, the RGB value collected in a month period are reproduced via an RGB lamp gradually shifting from colours to colours as the weather from a day to another can be, shifting almost imperceptibly from a daily value to another over a time span of 30 seconds and for a total of 12 minutes per month. In the final installation, the lamp will be located at one end of a rounded ceiling, projecting the colours throughout it as a large neon light, actually ending with a half circular opening. Being the opening positioned at the very end of an hypothetical building, over the precipice facing an infinite sea, at night time, the opening will work as a lighthouse, while towards the end of the day this very opening will let the natural sunset light inside (Fig. Rendering of the final exhibition as seen from the outside with the semi-circular ceiling hosting the RGB lamp highlighted in red. When thinking of the building hosting the exhibition I often thought of a lighthouse on a remote island. The semi-circular opening projecting a trail of coloured light should face setting sun to the west and ca become visible at night time when the building is likely to be closed. The light then is almost beamed to no one but the actual sea increasingly growing under global warming. The building is eventually uprooted and the light is no longer needed to signal a land but to find new land).