Huey-Dewey-Louie Climate Clock (an homage to the film ‘Silent Running’)

Robert Davis, Usman Haque, and Caroline Lewis

Huey-Dewey-Louie Climate Clock

Description of Climate Clock Proposal

The Clock consists of three characters that construct themselves over the course of days, months & years forming a highly legible landscape record of climatic change & possible causes of this change. Biological materials are extracted directly from the environment to facilitate ongoing and future analyis.

1. Accretion Mounds: Huey Autonomously accreted daily from light & dark materials extracted chemically from the atmosphere, the thickness of each carbonised/calcareous layer is proportional to the degree of fluctuation of local environmental parameters, visible, like tree-rings, via color gradations of the deposited material. The geometric trend of the stratigraphic iconic structure is dependent upon measurements of climatic change so that, viewed from below, the sky is visible until its completion, at which point the date will indicate the relative ‘health’ of the global weather system – the later it closes each year the better the global ecosphere’s ‘health’.

2. 3m3 Samples: Dewey Round the site will be 100 plinths onto which will be placed annually a sample of air hermetically preserved in a transparent box measuring 3m x 1m x 1m. At Year 0, 10,000 daffodil seeds will be cloned from a single genetic sample. Each year, 100 will be planted on site; at year-end, a single flower and 99 compacted into a block will be placed at the base of the sealed sample columns. The way this preserved plant material, genetically identical through 100 years, responded to its year’s changing climatic situation, and the air samples, will provide useful material for future analysis.

3. Cubic Data Packer: Louie An autonomous machine, powered by solar panels & heat engine, grazes round the site moving 1 cm/day, guided by local temperature & wind conditions. It extracts local soil via helical blades & fuses this daily into small cubes, each face of which is stamped with a date & environmental or economic measurements chosen by daily popular public vote, including e.g. global CO2 level, atmospheric methane, rainfall, price of corn, or index of light crude oil and whatever contemporary humans determine to be important. The cubes through their encoded positions record both local & global daily environmental conditions.

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Robert Davis is a systems developer in the Psychology Department of Goldsmiths College, University of London, who is particularly interested in systems that are contingent upon the environment and the entities that inhabit it, as well as the adaption within such systems. His particular interests include analog neural networks and chemical systems.

Usman Haque is an architect who has created responsive environments, interactive installations, digital interface devices and mass-participation performances. His skills include the design of both physical spaces, and the software and systems that bring them to life. Together they have worked on a number of previous projects including Haunt and Evolving Sonic Environment. The Haunt project was an attempt to simulate a haunted space, using infrasound and electromagnetic field patterns derived from previously recorded ‘haunted’ spaces. Evolving Sonic Environment was an architectural experiment to construct an interactive environment that builds up an internal representation of its occupants through a network of autonomous but communicative sensors.

Caroline Lewis is a lecturer in social science as part of the Teacher Education program at Croydon College of Higher Education, as well as a lecturer in Psychology, Sociology and Social Policy with the Open College Network. She trained as a Psychologist at University of Wales and University of London and has worked as a Psychotherapist within a general medical practice and spent two years as visiting lecturer in Psychology at Goldsmiths’ College London. She researched the role of psychosocial conflict in psychopathology in the department of Psychiatry at Charing Cross Hospital, London.

Her areas of interest include behavior and attitude change, applied social cognitive approaches to social experience and attitude formation, and the effects of socio-cultural double-binds on psychosocial conflict in attitude formation, which led to her work as a Behavioral Science Consultant as part of the Climate Clock initiative with Rob Davis and Usman Haque.