Using a lodestone compass this work explores the phenomenon of electromagnetism making reference to recent scientific discoveries in geo-magnetism and magneto-reception.
Its premise hinges on the fact that animals are connected to the earth in a fundamental way that humans are not. Recent science has revealed that animals have a sense that allows them to detect the earth’s magnetic field whereas humans do not possess this ability. The human species has literally lost its sense of direction.
This is therefore the grand metaphor of the work – we have lost our sense of direction. Using a powerful magnet and series of compasses, a distorted anthropocentic power relationship is established to amplify humanity’s dominance over the natural world and our inherent shame. The invisibility of this power, the magnetic field, stands to remind us of the fact that we don’t see the enormity of the damage being done. What many are now calling the sixth great extinction. The work has layered content but at its heart is climate change, species extinction and humanity’s culpability in this process.
Named after The Tempest Prognosticator by George Merryweather in 1851 this work is about the silence before the storm, the increasing rapidity of species extinction, in all habitats across the earth. See this working : http://richardpaton.com/the-tempest-prognosticator/