Are ‘electrical paroxysms’ the ultimate emotional experience?

In September, a train of atmospheric gases from the tropics surged over the entire United States. It was the most intense eruption of tropical Pacific atmosphere in recorded history, and it caused hellish weather in the Midwest and other areas. (On the coldest day of November, a snowstorm dumped more than two feet of snow in New York City.) When the plume reached the Great Lakes region on Oct. 30, there was unprecedented lake-effect snowfall.

When the mid-Atlantic states were parched in mid-October, cold rains drenched New England, spawning the “Polar Vortex.” Here’s how that started.

But what if the Great Northwest, the Southwest and Florida were to experience an electrical system explosion today? Or the Aryan Nations were to set off a small bomb in Jackson, Miss.? An asteroid crash would impact somewhere in South Dakota. Is that what we are experiencing when “the entire U.S. and Canada and Mexico and Canada, and you know, Antarctica is in the midst of a high-energy, high-pressure system and it’s just generating those atmospheric changes?”

In a recent episode of the Conversations About Art podcast, critics and the publicist for the Brooklyn-based video series Parallel Lines discussed the origins of these “paroxysms” of atmospheric carbon dioxide that include record-breaking temperatures this year in Illinois, New York and elsewhere. I had the unique pleasure of moderating a video conversation with Project Manager Rick Salutin in which we discussed why he calls these atmospheric phenomena “electrical paroxysms.”

As I listen to this episode of Conversations About Art, I wonder: Are these paroxysms the ultimate emotional experience?

You can find past episodes of the Conversations About Art podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud.

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