This weekend Loughborough University will celebrate World Meteorological Day with a special event launching the new Nowcasting programme of contemporary art.

From Sunday 23 March visitors can experience a number of interactive activities led by artists and scientists. This includes Alistair McClymont‘s art installation powered by the weather, plus the intriguing ‘Smog Tasting’, an ongoing project by the Center for Genomic Gastronomy. A range of family friendly activities will also be on show, from simulating weather conditions using domestic appliances to the use of food as a biosensor to map air quality.

Coordinator Jo Mardell said: “The programme develops a dialogue between academic research and creative practice, with commissions often stemming from research undertaken within the university. We want visitors to think about what future weather systems will hold for us in five, 10, or even 50 years time.”

Explaining the important role artists can play in academic research, she said: “Artistic practice can bridge the gap between science and society, allowing for a more playful and experimental interaction, which can help shape and form opinions. Instead of providing answers to scientific problems, artists are able to offer different perspectives and encourage a dialogue around scientific issues.”

The programme has been developed in partnership with Radar, an ongoing strand of Loughborough University Arts with outputs presented in spaces both on and off campus.

Commenting on the timing of the event, Mardell said: “It feels very pertinent after the extreme weather we have been experiencing. It will be interesting to see how the weather behaves whilst we are undertaking the enquiry. We hope the project will provoke questions and develop narratives, resulting in a personal and emotional response to the important issue of climate change.”

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