Cloudrunner: The Pinatubo Field Guide to Solar Geoengineering
For the 18th Web Residency »Magical Hackerism or The Elasticity of Resilience,« Mica Cabildo and JM Quiblat for Adaptive Radiations Working Group revisit the 1991 Pinatubo eruption. The project Cloudrunner investiagtes endemic responses to ethical, technological, and political risks posed by planetary-scale technological climate interventions on Pinatubo’s displaced populations and ecologies.
Adaptive Radiations Working Group (Araw), Zambales/Philippines — Nov 22, 2022
Cloudrunners evolved in the forest canopies of the sky islands of Luzon in a spectacular example
of adaptive radiation. The Pinatubo volcano mouse was believed to have gone extinct after the
1991 Pinatubo eruption, until its re-discovery in 2012.
When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, it spewed 17 megatons of sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere, reflecting sunlight back into space and lowering global surface temperatures by 0.6°C for two years. Proponents of solar geoengineering in the Global North often cite Pinatubo as a basis for highly contentious Stratospheric Aerosol Injection proposals. The Aetas of Pinatubo, however, believe the eruption was caused by Apo Namalyari, their supreme deity, angered by exploratory geothermal drilling operations on his volcanic abode.
Adaptive Radiations Working Group revisits the 1991 Pinatubo eruption to uncover on-the-ground perspectives on technologies for obscuring the sun. Using social design, futures thinking, and culture-based conservation hybrid approaches, Araw elicits endemic responses to ethical, technological, and political risks posed by planetary-scale technological climate interventions on Pinatubo’s displaced populations and second-growth forest ecosystems.
Araw imagines two scenarios: (1) technological speciation and animistic inversions of climate geoengineering proposals, and (2) cultural and biological adaptations to the unpredictable consequences of ungovernable planetary-scale interventions. Reporting weekly and broadcasting as a science fiction radio production from Zambales/ Philippines, Cloudrunnerserves as a speculative field guide for approaching climate geoengineering from diverse perspectives and integrating overlooked knowledge from those on the ground.
This iteration of Adaptive Radiations Working Group assembles visual artist Mica Cabildo and multimedia producer JM Quiblat in an investigation on island studies, disaster cultures and climate adaptation. Araw’s networks and activities radiate from the tropics to the temperate zone, shedding light on visions and projections between the two. Coined from evolutionary biology, Araw seeks new niches in bounded geographies to hasten the development and transmission of culture-based survival strategies.
The web residency will take place in November/December and the projects will be published at the beginning of the year 2023.