Commissioned for the World Weather Network, a constellation of weather stations located across the world, and with the invitation of SAHA – Supporting Contemporary Art from Turkey, m-est.org is inviting nine artists and writers to publish texts and develop programs, focusing on the weather reporting of their respective locations. The series intends to address the artistic strategies to measure, report, fabulate, and tell stories about the weather, air flows, circulation, and other high to low pressure aspects of our practices and cities. Scheduled for June 2022–June 2023, this long-year project is supported by the SAHA Art Initiatives Sustainability Fund 2021–2022.
Merve Ünsal, “with the breath of the wind like a small cloud,” April 12, 2022
We begin the series with a text by artist Merve Ünsal, the founding editor of m-est.org. Merve discusses the wind as a recurring idea, a traveling sound, a familiar storyteller, an unexpected embrace. Her contribtion sets the tone for this project that delves into ideas in progress and intimate exchanges we rely on to support each other’s practice.
Yasemin Nur, “Tying Together The Text Between Two Doors,” June 13, 2022
This piece functions as a guide that helps us accompany artist Yasemin Nur’s meandering across text and image-based notes in which materials, surfaces, and spaces are entangled. Yasemin’s positioning as a recorder of her own practice in which the permeable objecthoods of the research processes, the temporal foldings within the quotidian, and the mutual infections of the languages of things and her excitement about relaying the issues that haunt her include these questions that are urgent today: From where could we begin to see, feel, and comprehend the tangible common denominators embedded within the communication of things? Would it be possible to facilitate another language, another form of communication through bringing things side by side?
wing chan, “weather forecasting lake,” September 7, 2022
A translator and editor based between London and Hong Kong, wing chan introduces a story about the body. The body is adaptive, fragile, and cautious at times: it learns, it breaks, it remembers, it predicts, it warns, it speculates, it whispers. wing draws on knowledge grounded in bodily experience, in relation to her homes and the weather elements that surround them. Unfolding over the past nine months, the piece weaves together three places and moments in time: January when wing wrote a response to our first conversation about weather forecasting in Hong Kong; August when she transferred her text onto a wall, next to a garden of migratory plants in Kassel; and September when she penned the second part of the text in her home in London.
Elmas Deniz in Conversation with Merve Ünsal, “When Does Orange Become Red,” December 5, 2022
Our conversation with artist Elmas Deniz was shaped by an effort to describe the pressure areas we inhabit. This text, which can also be read as the negotiation between the artist’s desire to represent the world they live in with the responsibility of to sense and to keep records as we continue to think about the possibility of trying to describe together—adopting the sharing, transmitting, passing on as a method—, which lies at the core of the act of reporting.
İz Öztat, “Daredevil,” January 11, 2023
This text is an invitation into the space of İz Öztat’s artist studio at Kunstquartier Bethanien in Berlin to produce a temporality of mutualness, weaving together her references, experiences, evocations in this particular space and a confrontation with the state of not knowing. Bodies and objects become one, as words and authors call across time. As swallows take flight, İz suspends her studio with all her objects and images, daring to remain there in a constant state of flight.
Burcu Yağcıoğlu, “Is There Any Snow?,” April 18, 2023
In this text, artist Burcu Yağcıoğlu warps time: the temporality of snow as she has experienced and heard about it over the course of her life intersects with the temporality of the bacteria, P.seudomonas syringae. Her phenomenological contemplation on snow is transformed into a cohabitation with the bacteria; Burcu thus seeks ways of practicing her research, tracing the boundaries of where research becomes action. Her work could be seen as a response to the urgent question: Could artistic practice describe a means through which our agencies can be reclaimed in times of catastrophe?
Can Küçük, “Will Be Ignited,” May 25, 2023
“Will Be Ignited” is a prophecy-diagnosis-dream-nightmare. While expressing the relationships between people through the sticky air between them, artist Can Küçük transforms this physical and bodily expression into stage commands; the text reminds us that we are longing for the breaths of some as he builds a world with people by passing through their vapors. The text transforms longing, desire, contact, and the unspeakable, the permeability of the soil, and the evil of the lemon into tangible objects. With an acute awareness of the limits of our own body, we are confronted with the fact that air is a material that circulates, enters, and moves. It delivers on the promise of the title, “Will Be Ignited” at our fingertips.
Kiều-Anh Nguyễn, “ventilation veins: the anatomy of air,” June 2023 (upcoming)
In her text, artist Kiều-Anh weaves through stories related to taste, scent, touch, and sight, moving through her childhood’s alleys, family feasts, and her grandmother’s deathbed. She speculates on how the air holds memory. This piece builds on Kiều-Anh’s conversations with Wing Chan and her contribution to our series, “weather forecasting lake,” exploring her body as a weather station.
Özgür Demirci & Monica Papi, June 2023 (upcoming)
Özge Ersoy & Merve Ünsal, June 2023 (upcoming)
Reading Group by Merve Ünsal
July 29, 2022
A group of current SAHA Studio participants and collaborators read and discuss Walter Benjamin’s One-Way Street, accessed in Turkish from İskender Savaşır’s translation. The event is a continuation of Merve’s engagement with locality, specificity, and fragmentation in artistic research, which she had articulated in her text for the WWN.
Reading Group by Collective Çukurcuma & Merve Ünsal
September 24, 2022
As part of the screening program Glad We Made It On Time, Collective Çukurcuma and m-est.org host a collaborative reading group at SALT Beyoğlu, moderated by Naz Cuguoğlu, Lara Ögel, and Merve Ünsal. In discussion are Sara Ahmed’s The Promise of Happiness (2010) and Etel Adnan’s The Arab Apocalypse (1989).
“Full of Hail”: Workshop by Yasemin Nur and Can Aytekin
December 20, 2022
Yasemin Nur’s text Tying Together The Text Between Two Doors, published on m-est.org, is the point of departure for the workshop Full of Hail. Hosted at the Etching Studio in the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, the artists participating in the workshop research the possibility of hail in sunny weather using various printing techniques. The opportunities afforded by etching methods converge with the memory of the studio to consider what can be recorded about a specific moment and place through actions of pressing, engraving, reducing, adding, and relieving.
“In Reality, Everything is in the Air”: Conversation with Merve Akar Akgün, Merve Ünsal, and Özge Ersoy (online)
October 8, 2022
Hosted at SAHA Studio, the conversation between the editors of Art Unlimited and m-est.org takes as a point of departure the series of texts that m-est.org has been working on with the invitation of SAHA as part of the World Weather Network. With the artist texts published as part of the series, m-est.org focuses on artistic production that deals with weather forecasts and the high and low pressures of the cities we live and produce in. The discussion focuses on transformation, crisis, and fabulations of futures at the intersection of publishing and visual arts. Please see the video documentation of the event (in Turkish) here.
“Fabric!”: Workshop by Can Küçük and Selin Karcı
January 21, 2023
Can Küçük and Alt Üst’s co-founder Selin Karcı organize a workshop at SAHA Studio, working with participants to create a banner, upcycling fabric materials. Without relying on letters, words, or verbalizations of any kind, the group cuts fabric into scraps and pieces them back together under the technical guidance of Nayira Sirop. The potentials of language embedded in fabric are explored alongside the social and ecological contexts of the material.
“Is There Any Show?”: Lecture Performance by Burcu Yağcıoğlu
June 17, 2023
Hosted at SAHA Studio, artist Burcu Yağcıoğlu’s performance lecture explores the bacteria called P. syringae as well as the relationship between bio-techno-culture and climate change. The event builds on Yağcıoğlu’s eponymous article published on m-est.org in April 2023, exploring snow as a microbiological, historical, touristic, evolutionary, and technological phenomenon. Commissioned for the World Weather Network and with the invitation of SAHA, this series asks: how do artists respond to ideas of change, crisis, and future, focusing on various elements of the weather as an embodiment at the intersection of bodies, peoples, and landscapes?
Reading Group by İz Öztat
June 20, 2023
Building on İz Öztat’s text “Daredevil,” this conversation explores ideas of loss and mourning, and their potential to mobile collectivity. In this online gathering, İz Öztat, scholars Eray Çaylı and Lara Fresko, and m-est.org editors continue their ongoing dialogue on political violence articulated from diasporic positions in an increasingly polarised climate.
Stay tuned for the upcoming events.