It is ancient knowledge that I have found at the outside walls of houses in remote Alpine valleys as well as in indigenous communities in Northern America: weather sticks that can forecast the weather. It represents knowledge obtained through the observation of natural processes: these sticks twist upwards in low humidity (forecasting good weather for the coming days) and downwards in high-humidity environments (forecasting clouds and rain). Used since hundreds, if not thousands of years, these sticks are a rare example of a weather prediction tool that predates the mercury barometer. In the context of an exhibition on the topic of “solar habitat” this installation, attached onto trees all over the area, works like a silent reminder that we, in our technology driven world, sometimes overlook knowledge that is performed right in front of our eyes.
Christian Kosmas Mayer (b. 1976) works variously with photography, video, sculpture, installation and performance. Known for his engagement with questions of memory, preservation and rediscovery, the artist showed solo exhibitions at international institutions like the Museum of Modern Art Vienna (mumok); Belvedere, Vienna; Centrum Kultury Zamek, Poznan; Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart; Austrian Cultural Forum, Warsaw. Group exhibitions at the 26th Bienal de São Paulo; Manifesta 7, Rovereto; Kunstmuseum Bonn; Leopoldmuseum, Vienna; Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles; and numerous other venues.