In Iceland, the saying is: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes!”
In this post, rather than focus on the types of weather we’ve experienced in Iceland (although yesterday we stood in a high valley with a group of walkers and watched clouds blow in from the fjord, and swirl around and envelop us with in a matter of minutes!) we discuss the concept of weathering.
Of interest to us is weathering as the erosion and breaking down of rocks, soil, and minerals as well as wood and artificial materials through contact with the earth’s atmosphere, waters, and biological organisms including human toxicity.
Further, is the idea that ‘we are weather bodies.’ Here we draw on writing by environmental humanities scholar Astrida Neimanis who re-orients weather from being distant and separate from humans, to an understanding of weather that is intimate and entangled.
One of the issues with understanding weathering in both examples, is scale. Humans find it difficult to relate to issues, such as climate change, because it is sensible at other scales.
The artist Roni Horn’s photo-based project You are the Weather, is a series of close-up portraits of a woman emerging from a geothermal pool in Iceland. The images reflect the intimacy of weather, as told through the woman’s facial expressions.