The Danube School, based in the valley of the Danube River in Bavaria, Germany, propelled an aesthetic sensibility that allowed landscape to become an autonomous genre of painting during the early 16th century. Rather than prioritizing human figures or historical references, the paintings, etchings and woodcuts created by this small group of artists described topographical features and weather conditions of the Danube Valley. While the depiction of meteorological conditions—light, wind, temperature, humidity, clouds—was essential for the founding of this new genre, it also revealed an increased awareness of a world-in-appearance, in which atmospheric manifestations become integral to the description of territorial identities and cultures. The time-lapse video, titled “360+ Weathers,” was recorded in the Danube Valley, in the city of Ingolstadt an der Donau, from October 2012 to October of 2013. The video sequences photographs taken daily in the same place (Konrad-Adenauer Brüke) and time (9:00a.m.). It records the annual cycle of the ever-changing microclimatic conditions, including the extreme weather events that occurred during that year in the Danube Valley: floods, blizzards, intense snowfall, and heat waves. While “360+ Weathers” reflects upon the 500 years of the Danube School—its innovative character and increased sensibility towards weather as integral to the description of the landscape and local identities—it also highlights the 21st-century landscapes of the Danube River Valley subject to environmental stress, overbuilt infrastructure, energy demands, and pressing civic desires for a river environment integral to the public milieu of the city—one that stirs delight, well-being, and the collective imagination.
Special thanks to collaborators Velania Cervino, Joe Liao (MArch ‘13), Ziyi Zhang (MLA I AP ‘13), and Ken Chongsuwat (MLA I ‘15).
This video was part of a large-scale exhibition at the Museum für Konkrete Kunst in Ingolstadt, Summer 2014.