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 seven 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 Summer 2022–Summer 2023, this long-year project is supported by the SAHA Art Initiatives Sustainability Fund 2021-22.
In this text, Merve discusses the wind as a recurring idea, a traveling sound, a familiar storyteller, an unexpected embrace. The piece sets the tone for the series that delves into ideas in progress and intimate exchanges we rely on to support each other’s practice.
Reading Group by Merve Ünsal
29 July 2022 @ SAHA Studio, Istanbul
A group of current SAHA Studio participants and collaborators read and discussed Walter Benjamin’s One-Way Street, accessed in Turkish from İskender Savaşır’s translation. The event lasted two hours, continuing 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
24 September 2022 @ SALT Beyoğlu, Istanbul
As part of the screening program Glad We Made It On Time, Collective Çukurcuma and m-est.org hosted a collaborative reading group, moderated by Naz Cuguoğlu, Lara Ögel, and Merve Ünsal. In discussion were Sara Ahmed’s The Promise of Happiness (2010) and Etel Adnan’s The Arab Apocalypse (1989).
This piece functions as a guide that helps us accompany Yasemin’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?
Full of Hail
Workshop facilitated by Yasemin Nur and Can Aytekin
20 December 2022 @ Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Etching Studio, Istanbul
Yasemin Nur’s text Tying Together The Text Between Two Doors, published on m-est.org, was the point of departure for the workshop Full of Hail. Facilitated by Yasemin Nur and Can Aytekin, the artists participating in the workshop researched the possibility of hail in sunny weather using various printing techniques. The opportunities afforded by etching methods converged 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.
A translator and editor based between London and Hong Kong, wing 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.
A talk by Merve Akar Akgün, Merve Ünsal, Özge Ersoy (online)
8 October 2022, Saturday @ SAHA Studio, Istanbul
The conversation between the editors of Art Unlimited and m-est.org took 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 focused on transformation, crisis, and fabulations of futures at the intersection of publishing and visual arts.
Our conversation with 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’s “Daredevil” is an invitation into the space of her 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.
Workshop facilitated by Can Küçük and Selin Karcı
21 January 2023 @ SAHA Studio, Istanbul
Can Küçük and Alt Üst’s co-founder Selin Karcı organized 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 cut fabric into scraps and pieced them back together under the technical guidance of Nayira Sirop. The potentials of language embedded in fabric were explored alongside the social and ecological contexts of the material.
Stay tuned for the upcoming works and events.