Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fables of the Deconstruction

I don't think the Phoenix weather forecasts are meant to be taken literally. They read better when taken as metaphors, or fables, rather than predictions of actual weather conditions. As straight-up forecasts, they usually suck. But you can't blame the weather persons, since we only have three seasons: hot and dry, hot with a slight chance of violent thunderstorms, and mild and dry. When something different comes along, like next week, you can't really blame them when they come out with a forecast like "Holy Carp El Nino May Destroy Us with Water This Week." There's a trio of Pacific storms pointed in our general direction, combined with a nearly certain shift of the jetstream. Typically this pattern will result in bucketloads of water running in our streets and normally-dry washes, and feet of snow falling in the mountains, but how much, on which days, with what certainty, is so unclear that I utterly doubt the forecast as it currently stands: good chance of rain every day this week. I anticipate clouds, blustery winds, and rain threatening to unleash in torrents, but when? How much? In my city? No one can say. My knee says not soon, at this moment. I wanted to ride out one more time before the combination ice age / epic flood / stormageddon descends later this week. To hear the weather forecasters, this is the biggest one since '98, possibly bigger. To hear the skiers and snowboarders, you should take the whole week off and head to the mountains now, because the powder will be epic (dude), and once it blows in, you may not get out for days.

They are still working on the "maintenance as metaphor as canal as fissure as dialogue" along the waterfront, and I noticed it and took a photo. It fits in nicely with the forecast-as-fable already mentioned, since I was wondering, what will happen to the colorful foam shapes arrayed carefully in the muddy fissure in the unlikely event that the forecast blinding sheets of water from the skies for days on end actually occurs? A clash of metaphors, I think, art about cleaning up the canal that becomes canal flotsam that needs to be cleaned up when it's washed away by the Pacific jetstream deluge. I want to ride my bike to work this week just to be there in case it happens. But really, I have no concern for the foam tools in the ditch, since I think what the National Weather Service is actually going for here is something like the message from the movie Wall-E. Not sure. Get up. Go ride.


  1. limom, the foam shapes are part of an art piece called "Flowing Overlapping Gesture." A description of it is on the poster I photographed, here:

  2. Interesting.
    Which is my stock answer for things I don't understand.
    The positive and negative pliers are kinda cool though.
    I'd be interested in public reaction to the installation.

  3. It seems like they are still installing it or adjusting it. If the water doesn't wash it away, I do want to see what the finished product looks like, and how people react to it.


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