Hearing the mean heat: how the measure of change on land leads to the valence of phronesis


As Seasons Change / The Sound of the Climate by Lorraine Berry 2007- 2008

Lorraine Berry translated the dataset for aggregated global temperature statistics produced by the UK MET Office’s Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit into musical notation.

‘The assemblage of nature and culture, the hands, instruments, humidities, conversations, legal precedents and industrial effluents that are embedded in the production of the piece are more than a steady, exterior context in which the piece sits.

The effects of those players, their responses, the dynamic equilibrium in which they act upon each other is that from which that sound emerged…The musicality that resulted feels like meaningful, communicative sound, as if it’s a sound of the climate from within its codes or structures, or mind, and not merely its material effects, the winds, the ice sheets aching, or the torrents of waves, to which we have become accustomed … How, then does one respond?’

key words: Bruno Latour, Aristotle, ethics, Gregory Bateson

at Living Landscapes, Aberystwyth University 2009