Senate House Library

A Thousand Words for Weather

A new audio experience that probes the connection between the environment, language, sound and silence, marking a unique collaboration between Artangel and Senate House Library.

A Thousand Words for Weather

A new audio experience that probes the connection between the environment, language, sound and silence, marking a unique collaboration between Artangel and Senate House Library.

Price
£5 (free for library members)
Organiser
SAS Central
Address
Senate House Library, University of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU
Event dates
- , 17.45 BST

A Thousand Words for Weather

A Thousand Words for Weather takes place across three floors of London’s most iconic library as a sonic installation born out of a collaboration between writer Jessica J. Lee and seven other London-based poets of different mother-tongues. 

Each poet chose and defined ten words for the weather in Arabic, Bengali, English, German, French, Mandarin, Polish, Spanish, Turkish, or Urdu. They then went on to translate one another's chosen weather words or phrases, contributing to a unique multilingual weather ‘dictionary’ that seeks to generate a shared language describing our collective experience of climate and the changing environment while exploring the nuance of meaning in translating and describing our multilingual realities.  

These words form a sound piece created by sound artist Claudia Molitor and integrated with a bespoke playback system designed by software architect Peter Chilvers that inputs data from the Met Office, enabling the sound to be altered depending on the weather outside.

A coloured map depicting a green countryside landscape with clouds and a river from an aerial view
A map tracing the balloon voyage of Thomas Baldwin between Chester, Warrington and Rixton-Moss on 8 September 1785

Weather Notes

Alongside the audio installations, the new exhibition 'Weather Notes' of historical items chosen from Senate House Library’s collections will offer a glimpse into different perceptions, recordings, and observations regarding the weather over the past 500 years.

 

Visiting

Visitors will be able to interact with a series of listening posts installed throughout the library, with all admissions taking place during library opening hours.

Find out more about visiting the library.

If you are interested in joining the library, visit our Membership page.

A colour wheel indicating the annual average temperature in London, UK.
A diagram visualising the cycle of temperature variations in London from Luke Howard's The Climate of London

Contribute to our Collective Weather Diary

During the nine month run of the exhibition we are encouraging visitors to contribute to a growing collective weather diary.

Looking out of the window, how is the weather right now? How does it make you feel? Do you remember a time when the weather played an important role in your life? 

Contribute to the weather diary

Open the link and click the + icon at the bottom right of the screen to add your entry.

Collective weather diary