Talking with Andrea Karo about her Weather Project
Alexis Bhagat (LX): Yesterday you said you were looking at the sun?
Andrea Karo (AK): I shot into the sun. All of a sudden, for the composition I wanted the sun in the shot. And I had to focus it. When I hit the shutter button, the whole thing was like flashing in my eye. I was like, “ooo, that’s really interesting… Why am I seeing sparks while I take this picture?” And then after I finished shooting the roll, I stood up and looked around was like… holy shit! I was blinking back and forth – out of my left eye everything was red. Did I destroy my eye?
LX: Did you go to the emergency room?
AK: I thought about it. I googled it, checked out “looking at the sun through the viewfinder” and all these posts were like you never want to do that. I waited. Blinking. I texted a friend, and she said “you’re fine.” Everything was red for like 20 minutes but then I was fine. It was a tough love lesson to learn.
LX: So, besides thinking you seriously damaged your eye, how is the weather project going?
AK: It’s ok. I’m pretty bored with it actually. But that’s fine. I’m feel strongly committed to finish it no matter how bored I get with it. It leads you to think about the project in other ways, ways you haven’t thought of. Maybe in 5 more months something will come up. It will open up the door down the line that I just can’t see right now.
LX: Has looking at the plants given you new insights into the weather of Brooklyn?
AK: I really want to say yes, but the honest answer is no. I’m impressed with the plants.
When I left for my trip, the rose bush and blueberry were destroyed within 12 days. But the rest of the summer, the rose was totally fine. I wasn’t sure if the blueberry plant would regenerate at all, but it did! I’m impressed because everything has resurrected and hasn’t had a problem.
The progression with the blueberries is just that it’s alive, it’s surviving. It had a lot of leaves on it befpre and now it’s totally kind of, you know, I don’t know… it never produced blueberries. (See pic above.)
LX: It hasn’t totally come back… Well, blueberries are a forest plant. They have a large root system that need to be protected from the sun. I would guess that you need a really massive container for a blueberry on a roof.
AK: It wasn’t a big plant when I got it and it had fruit on it. I had a feeling it would just do what plants do… So that’s the blueberry.
The rose bush is a surprise. The process is that it starts to want to re-bloom little flowers. It’s so hot. They bloom and then they dry up right away. So it’s not really pretty… it’s just a plant. It’s nice to watch it die and come back to life. The little buds that could.
LX: What do you think the sun pictures are going to look like?
AK: My hope is they they come out well! I seriously fucked up my eye in the process! I thought I really damaged my eye and at that moment I thought – “f*ck! These pictures, at the very least, better look really good! What if I killed my eye for nothing?”
Andrea Karo is a photographer and film-maker based in Brooklyn.
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