Monsoon Assemblages at the 2021 Venice Biennale

The Venice Architecture Biennale has published a sneak peek of the Monsoon Assemblages (MONASS) and Office of Experiments’ (OoE) installation at the biennale, which is taking place between May and November 2021.

Globe Skimmer Dragonfly

MONASS and OoE’s installation, titled ‘Between the Dragon Fly and the Barometer’, examines the Indian Ocean monsoon from the perspective of the Globe Skimmer dragonfly and the impact of climate change on it. The sneak peek is displayed as a photograph, a map and a video, created by Dr Beth Cullen and John Cook from MONASS and Professor Neal White and Bill Thompson from OoE. 

The immersive installation, which will be based on climate data, field work, and time-based media, is framed by the monsoon. It conveys how climate change and the Anthropocene, a proposed geological era, are causing an increase in monsoonal unpredictability. Monsoon rain periods are shortening, and extreme weather events are increasing in the Indo-Pacific region, impacting both human and nonhuman life. 

Monsoon Assemblages is a five-year multi-disciplinary enquiry funded by the European Research Council (ERC), hosted by the University of Westminster. It is studying the relations between changing monsoon climates and rapid urban growth in Chennai, Dhaka, and Yangon, three of the largest cities in South Asia. The research project was proposed by Dr Lindsay Bremner to the 2015 European Research Council (ERC) who awarded her with a Starting Grant of  €1.5m. 

OoE, which was founded by Professor Neal White in 2004, works beyond the confines of the University. The independent entity allows for knowledge sharing from across intergenerational and diverse groups of enthusiasts, amateurs, and activists whose passion and love for their subjects lies beyond the institutional framing of knowledge. 

Talking about the installation, Dr Lindsay Bremner said: “In responding to the question posed by the curator of the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, Hashim Sarkis, ‘How will we live together?’, Monsoon Assemblages teamed up with Neal White’s Office of Experiments to design an installation framed by the monsoon and the flight of the Globe Skimmer dragonfly. By drawing connections between geology, meteorology, monsoonal cities and nonhuman lifeways, our installation highlights the mutual entanglement of human and nonhumans in changing climates.”

Learn more about Monsoon Assemblages.

[This article is reposted from University of Westminster News]

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