If theres angst or hysteria about global warming, its hidden in the group show Weather Reports. Instead of melting ice caps and imperiled polar bears, AHN/VHS quiet, small works showwhich features drawings, prints, video and mixed mediafocuses on the daily weather data recorded at Long Island Citys artist-run SP Weather Station.

The SP Weather Station project was started by Natalie Campbell and Heidi Neilson in 2007 as a way for artists to study the weather and create art that reflects or chronicles it.

Some of the works stick a little too close to the data and actually look like charts youd see in a science book. But several of the works are quite surprising with their visual or conceptual punch.

January 2009 by Mike Estabrook and Vandana Jain shows President Obamas head as a burning yellow sun collaged on a grim black and white urban scene. Michael Geminders simple word piece CLEAR WARM AND STILL is lyrical with the words cut from a small piece of cardboard. Its effective in conjuring up the conditions of a quiet summer night.

Mark Nystroms seven digital prints from June 21-27, 2009 transcend data through digital manipulation. Nystrom uses software programs in prints that are reminiscent of work by Francis Baconhalf clear and crisp, half rubbed out in what look like angry attempts to mask reality. Beautiful and frenzied, the prints capture the mystery of weathers unpredictability.

SP Weather Station: Weather Reports. Through Aug. 30. AHN/VNS, 319A N. 11th St., fourth fl. ahnvhs.com.

Perhaps the most directly observational piece in the show is the photo documentation, April 2009 by Luke Strosnider. The digital photography collage shows long thin slices of sky seen at various dates and times. This manipulated documentation hearkens back to the time when the only tool for predicting the weather was the eyes. Here, the cameras eye has captured what the physical eye saw and saved it for posterity.

Also featured are a selection of toy-like planetarium lamps collected by SP Weather Station co-founder Heidi Neilson. The light from the lamps projects stars onto the walls of a curio cabinet outside the gallery. The cabinet was recently created by AHN/VHS owners Julianne Ahn and Lauren van Haaften-Schick. The New York transplants focus on works on paperdrawings, prints and publications which they exhibit and sell online and through their flat file in the back studio. Ahn and Haaften-Schick are accepting proposals for an installation of Lilliputian dimensions for the tiny exhibition space.

For more on the Philadelphia art scene go to theartblog.org.


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