DIY satellite ground station operator, artist and musician Dey Kim collected an image in Goyang, South Korea. Composite image: open-weather

COP26 Nowcast

What would it mean to collectively image, and in doing so, reimagine the planet? To see its details and patterns from multiple perspectives and many situated positions? If we could each take a photo of our home from space, could we build a patchwork, an impossible view, another whole earth?

On the first day of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, a network of people operating DIY satellite ground stations around the world captured a collective snapshot of the Earth and its weather systems: a ‘nowcast’ for an undecided future. Tuning into transmissions from three orbiting National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites, members of the network collected imagery and submitted field notes from their geographical locations. Combined, these contributions generate a feminist and fractal image of the earth. Led by open-weather (Sophie Dyer and Sasha Engelmann) with Rectangle (Lizzie Malcolm and Daniel Powers), the artwork is a feminist experiment in imaging and reimagining the planet in an era of climate crisis.

▴ "From our ground station, we could see the Tala trees forest in the Barranca, [and] many islands of Cortaderas (Pampa's grass)", wrote cartographer and marine technician Joaquín Ezcurra and Aimée Juhazs in the Parque Nacional Ciervo de los Pantanos, Campana. Composite image: open-weather
▴ The South American Andes as imaged by Joaquín Ezcurra and Aimée Juhazs in Parque Nacional Ciervo de los Pantanos, and Pablo Cattaneo, also in Argentina. Composite image: open-weather
▴ DIY satellite ground station operator, artist and biophysics Aouefa Amoussouvi collected an image in Bucharest, Romania. Composite image: open-weather
▴ "The sun dominates", wrote artist and maker Cédrick Tshimbalanga in Kinshasa, DR Congo. Before, "the rainy season was alive and rain was abundant, and during the dry season, it was much colder". Composite image: open-weather
▴ "In this uncomfortable and very wet position, the sound of the satellite transmission comes brightly through the static, through the cloud", wrote artist Alison Scott in Glasgow, Scotland. Multiple scales intersect: Alison collects an image of a cyclonic weather system taken from 800 km above, while she is thoroughly immersed, exposed, and sheltering from this same weather system. Composite image: open-weather


The COP26 Nowcast is part of When I image the earth I imagine another (see the talk and book). When I image the earth I imagine another was commissioned and supported by The Photographers’ Gallery (London, UK) in partnership with CCIC Tabakalera (Donostia / San Sebastián, Spain).

Open-weather extends its warmest thanks to Rectangle (Lizzie Malcolm and Daniel Powers) for collaborating on the nowcast for COP26.

Open-weather thank the nowcast contributors, in particular the following ground station operators:

Alison Scott (Glasgow, UK)
Ankit Sharma (Mumbai, India)
Aouefa Amoussouvi (Bucharest, Romania)
Barfrost (Kirkenes, Norway)
Bill Liles (Reston, USA)
Carl Reineman (Jefferson, USA)
Catherine Fletcher (Norfolk, USA)
Cedrick Lukunku Tshimbalanga (Kinshasa, DR Congo)
Chonmapat Torasa (Bangkok, Thailand)
Dey Kim (Seoul, South Korea)
Florent Leon Noel (Venice, Italy)
George Ridgeway (Melbury Abbas, U.K.)
Jasmin Schädler (Stuttgart, Germany)
Joaquin Ezcurra (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Ketsia Kinsumba Muanakiese (Kinshasa, DR Congo)
L Paul Verhage (Homedale, USA)
Natasha Honey (Newcastle, Australia)
Olivia Berkowicz (Paris, France)
Pablo Cattaneo (Mar Del Plata, Argentina)
Sofia Caferri (San Vittoria, Italy)
Steve Engelmann (Los Angeles, USA)
Sybille Neumeyer (Berlin, Germany)
WXVids / Zefie (Albany, USA)
Yoshi Matsuoka (Atsugi, Japan)
Zack Wettstein (Seattle, USA)

Special thanks:

A. and J. Powers
Alexander Barth
Anna Pasco Bolta
Arieh Frosh
Eugenia Morpurgo
Grayson Earle
Jon Uriarte
Martin Bernardi
Nicola Locatelli
RTL-SDR blog
Sabina Ahn
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