Kjen Wilkens
Sensor Poetics


What if we would record special moments with a weather camera?


As a sensor device it could record wind, light, temperature, humidity and air quality for a specific time and place.


How will we share these stories with our family and friends? Will we engage in “casual storm chasing”?

All content © 2010 Royal College of Art

The weather has long been a safe topic for conversation, a way of avoiding sensitive or personal subject matter. Despite the connotations of talking about the weather, it often plays a significant role in organising autobiographical memory. Most of us remember special situations from the past in relation to weather events. In fact, there is a whole subculture of weather enthusiasts who measure, predict and discuss the weather in their spare time. Some go on storm chases; others just like to compare the amount of rain that falls in their garden every year.

When, as suggested by visions such as ubiquitous computing and the Internet of Things, many objects around us start to produce sensor data, photographic and video cameras may no longer be the main means of recording situations. What if we used a Weather Camera instead of a photographic camera to capture and remember special moments? As a sensor device, it could record wind, light, temperature, humidity and air quality. How would we use this data to tell the stories of these moments? How would we share these stories with our family and friends? Would we engage in ‘casual storm chasing’? This project explores notions of storytelling in relation to a near future in which objects around us are electronically sensing the world.


Project Credits
Story Writing: Alex Burrett
Product Design: Molly Anderson
Programming: Steffen Fiedler
Photography: Ludwig Zeller

Thanks to: Kevin Grennan, Veronica Ranner, J. Paul Neeley



Other projects by Kjen Wilkens: