Attunements to Fog

Capture as an Idiom for More-than-Human Entanglements

by Chakad Ojani, PhD student (University of Manchester)
January 30, 2020

We have barely finished installing Sergio’s fog catcher before he exclaims: “Look how the water is trickling down!” I fix my gaze on the net above me, which the seven of us have set up perpendicular to the direction of the wind. Indeed, water has already begun running down along the thin plastic threads. “Look, look…” Sergio insists, again and again, while following the water droplets with his index finger as they accumulate and grow big enough to be pulled down by gravity, quickly filling the gutter that runs horizontally below it. Someone laughs in excitement. I have long been aware about the possibility to capture and concentrate the tiny water droplets we are currently inhaling up here in the hills. Even so, I’m surprised by a sense of allure that this sight instantaneously evokes in me. There’s something surreal about the whole setting. I shake off my paralysis to step back and have a look around, squinting. As far as I can tell, there’s only mist, accompanied by the aeolian sound of the wind, and occasional truck honks breaking through the thick blanket of fog covering the city below us. Water appears out of nowhere, literally conjured out of thin air. “We’ve found the water tap of the loma,” Sergio continues, with an ever-widening grin on his face, “the lomas do have water!” 1

Figure 1: Sergio surveying the water captured by one of his Standard Fog Collectors (photo by the author)

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