Under the Weather
“A new physician, pre-19th century, was required to know that, for example, the inhabitants in a city exposed to hot winds suffered from bodily flabbiness, had humid heads, and irritable bowels unsupportive of wine; that women suffered from excessive menstruation, infants from asthma, and other adults from dysentery and hemorrhoids”
The Victorian age brought about an increasing bifurcation of knowledge regarding the natural realm. Science and rational thought came to dominate our understanding of the world, from agriculture to medicine, rendering the everyday experience of knowledge as “folk-lore” and superstitions. While much of the specifics of wind-driven illness is no longer held as fact, there is increasing relevance in thinking about the winds in relationship to our health and the “poetics of pathology.” Pollution, whether from factories or highways, carbon dioxide emissions, and the increasing desiccation of the land, shape local health. The prevalence of certain geo-determined diseases has given rise to monikers like “cancer alley” and “asthma alley”.
This series of prints examines wind patterns, including the named winds, like Sorocco, Haramann, and Pamperos, and the global wind from this summer, when the air we breathed seemed increasingly threatening as covid and wildfires spread. This invisible force was rendered by pressing cotton balls, the fibers that encase the cotton seed and evolved to be carried by the wind, into cotton paper.