Category Archives: SP Guest Lecturer Series

Save the date, and some resources

Save the date: October 19
The next SPWS Guest Lecture will be Andrea Polli. Andrea is an artist, currently on the faculty in the MFA Program in Integrated Media Arts at Hunter College and a resident at Eyebeam. In addition to numerous projects related to weather and climate, Andrea has installed weather stations on the roof at Eyebeam and at her home in Long Island City.

those in LIC should check out her Cloud Car test drive TOMORROW, September 19th, late afternoon, on the street at the corner of 21st St. and 43rd Ave.

Thanks to Andrea we also recently had a chance to meet a number of “local experts” at Eyebeam, several of whom have websites of interest to the SPWS community. Featured speakers were Tim Dye of AirNow and Victoria Vesna of the UCLA Art/Science Center. An assortment of artists, environmental activists, etc provided feedback on each others’ work and created a forum for research sharing, raising all kinds of questions to be addressed … in later blog posts.

(Tim Dye)
real time air quality data & visualizations courtesy of the US Government

(Sarah Williams)
air quality measurements in Beijing during the Olympics
NY Times infographics

(Michael Heimbinder)
environmental health justice org. and mapping project in NYC

(Eve Mosher)public art projects

Ian Cheney on “The City Dark”

Ian and crowd on SPWS rooftop

The image above suggests the relevance of Ian Cheney’s recent Guest Lecture at SPWS.

SPWS Guest Lectures invite artists to present work that responds to environmental phenomena. Presenters to date have included LoVid (Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus) and Douglas Repetto, who collaborate as Cross Current Resonance Transducer on projects that record and transform weather data, and Stephanie Rothenberg, who gave an Introduction to Basic Divination.

Ian Cheney, our third Guest Lecturer, is the co-creator of the recent documentaries King Corn and The Greening of Southie. and, together with Curt Ellis operates as Wicked Delicate Films.

At SPWS, Ian gave a preview of his new project, The City Dark, which poses questions about a phenomenon that pervades contemporary life yet receives little popular attention: light pollution. Continue reading

Stephanie Rothenberg invites you to divine… almost anything

On April 25th, Stephanie Rothenberg ( introduced an audience at the SP Weather Station Base to the basics of divination, also known as dowsing.

The lecture and hands-on workshop gave attendees a point of entry into a a practice which continues to be widely practiced in numerous forms around the world.

The practice of divination, like the operation of a Personal Weather Station, is a way that individuals can take direct action in monitoring their immediate environment.

Despite a lack of scientific evidence for its efficacy, dowsing is likely the more widespread practice; while currently over 8,500 Personal Weather Stations upload data to Weather Underground from within the US and over 3,000 from other countries, one article estimates roughly 10,000 active dowsers in Germany alone.

divining2 Continue reading


Stephanie Rothenberg: Introduction to Basic Divination

3 pm at SP Weather Station

croquet and hanging out to follow
(watch out for the 7 train)

Stephanie Rothenberg lecture poster, LIC

Travel alert!

If you are coming to the SP Weather Station Guest Lecture tomorrow, Sunday at 3pm, please note that the 7 train is not running between Manhattan and Queensboro Plaza! The best way to get to the lecture will be to take the G or E to court square and walk west on 46th avenue, almost to the water. this googlemap shows where the side entrance is for our building – we’ll have a sign up & the door will be open (but ignore the street address as there are no street numbers on the building):

Introduction to Basic Divination Guest Lecture 5/25/08

S.P. Weather Station Guest Lecture Series presents:

Introduction to Basic Divination
A workshop by Stephanie Rothenberg
Sunday May 25th, 3pm
(free and open to the public)

SP Weather Station, 46-01 5th Street, Long Island City, (go to side entrance on 46th Ave between 5th Street and Vernon Ave)

About the Workshop:

Divining, or dowsing as it is often times called, is the ultimate sustainable battery-free technology for getting the latest information. It is an ancient practice that was used by many cultures and continues to be used today. In the workshop, participants will be given an overview of basic divining and learn how to make their own divining rods from wire hangers and drinking straws. Stephanie has presented Divination Workshops at 16 Beaver Group, NYC and the Center for Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA.

About Stephanie Rothenberg:

Stephanie Rothenberg, a New York-based artist and educator, is the founder of Pan-O-matic (, which brings together a diverse group of individuals interested in investigating our inter-personal relationship with new technologies. Since the rise of mass systemized culture in the early 20th century, the Western world has become increasingly dependent on technology to physically act for us and psychologically live for us. As our perception becomes increasingly subsumed by handheld devices telling us the where, when, what and how, Pan-O-matic strives to recalibrate our bodies and minds, attuning human perception to the mutable environment. Through the investigation of alternative tools and recombinant methodologies Pan-O-matic works at enabling us to regain our senses, or rather our own “sense-ability.”

Cross Current Resonance Transducer knows which way the wind is blowin’

At SP Weather Station last Sunday, LoVid (Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus) and Douglas Repetto spoke about their collaborative project Cross Current Resonance Transducer.

SP Weather Station Guest Lecture

As one of the founders of SPWS, I thought the talk was particularly well-timed: we are wrestling with some of the same issues that drive the CCRT investigations. As SPWS begins to invite Guest Interpreters to create weather reports using chunks of its data, we become increasingly aware of the infinite possibilities for the formal interpretation of data, and some of the problems this presents. As Douglas pointed out, “once it’s digital, you can make it into anything” – what you do with data becomes completely arbitrary (why not, he said, show wind speed measurements as a little animated dancing dog).

Maybe homemade weather investigations are by their nature both nerdy and lackadaisical: the weather is always around, and all around us; monitoring devices can be as sophisticated or as rudimentary as we need them, in that moment, to be. Anyone can access consistent, scientifically acquired weather data – through a regional doppler radar or the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Taking one’s own weather data implies an interest in the system itself, regardless of its accuracy; it means valuing the system’s internal logic and following its leads. (see more notes on the talk…) Continue reading

Reminder: Dress Warm

SP Weather Station’s first Guest Lecture will take place this Sunday, March 2 at 3 PM.  LoVid (Tali Hinkis & Kyle Lapidus) and Douglas Repetto  speak about Cross Current Resonance TransducerPlease dress warm! No heat at the weather station, and it can feel colder inside than out (though we don’t have data yet to back this up)

Upcoming Event: SP Weather Station Guest Lecturer Series

SP Weather Station Guest Lecturer Series:

LoVid (Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus) and Douglas Repettospeak about the Cross Current Resonance Transducer

SP Weather Station 46-01 5th Street, Long Island City
(go to side entrance on 46th Ave between 5th Street and Vernon Ave)

SP Weather Station Guest Lectures are held erratically at the SP Weather Station base in Long Island City. About CCRT: Cross Current Resonance Transducer is an open-ended collaboration and research project. We are interested in the processes of interpretation and evaluation that are inherent in human attempts to understand natural phenomena. Inspired by the story of the pulsar’s discovery, we develop systems for monitoring, manipulating, and interpreting natural signals such as electromagnetic radiation, tidal patterns, ambient temperature gradients, wind, and barometric pressure modulations. Our interest is not so much in presenting the phenomena themselves, but rather in exploring the often flawed but revealing interpretations of those phenomena that ultimately lead to greater human understanding and scientific progress. Our investigation has expanded from an initial focus, which emphasized using standard environmental sensors,to an interest in building our own environmental monitoring devices. For more information: