This proposal came out of an interview for the Met Office Art Programme designed to mark their move from Bracknell to Exeter and celebrate their 150th anniversary, we took the proposal to an R&D stage but sadly they didn't go for the commission ...
'Don't Rain on My Parade' or 'Weather Dependent Party' (working titles)
Our response to the brief has been primarily to consider the prevailing popular attitudes in Britain to weather forecasting, particularly in relation to one-off events and celebrations such as weddings, fairs and parties : Many are spoiled by the weather, many are postponed or scheduled according to forecasts.
As the Met is seeking to celebrate its anniversary, we would like our project to pivot around a one-off outdoor party, the conditions of which are deliberately and perversely dependent on the Met's own forecasting accuracy, effectively 'imposing' the implications of weather forecasting on the project conceptually and practically. This event may be accompanied by specially designed and deployed merchandising and media interventions to raise public awareness of the Met and the event.
We propose a three-strand project whereby we:
Orchestrate a celebratory party to mark the anniversary. The location of this event must be outdoors and can be anywhere in the UK. This site will be selected solely according to the forecasting (by the Met itself) for the sunniest day in the UK. A day prior to the event, the Met will be asked to make a final decision and as many Met staff as possible will travel there for the party. Regardless of the weather, the party will take place outdoors there and would also, ideally, be open to the public. The event will be documented to a high spec. forming a significant output for archive / exhibition.
Develop a range of merchandising to commemorate the anniversary and the party. These would aim to embed the project in the public eye, being an opportunity to link the Met with the concept of a 'great British institution' worthy of commemoration, be it a mug or a more satirical product such as an umbrella. The design of the merchandise may draw from the Met archive, whilst its distribution could be internal, public or both.
Develop a series of media interventions which may take the form of announcements, imagery etc integrated into, for example, TV / radio weather broadcasting, the Met website etc. They may include some form of public exchange / input - e.g meeting requests for the forecasting of weather for very localised events such as weddings or car boot sales.
You can see here the set of projects the Met Office did commission - we're happy to report that the 150th anniversary commission went to Chris Helson and Sarah Jackets, two of the TV swansong artists.