Clea T. Waite

The Ice-Time project is a creative response to the perilous state of Earth's ecosystem. Ice, like geology, is a primary indicator of the deep time of our planet’s environment. Ice is also the most visible indicator of the short-term effects of climate change. Glacial ice presents a four-dimensional hyper-view into time and space, an icy tesseract giving us an 800,000 years view backwards into Earth’s climatological past and forwards towards the pending outcomes of current rising temperatures.

Ice-Time will be realized as an immersive, multi-projection video and sound installation combining art and science that minutely examines the structure of ice and glaciers to reveal the time embedded within. The intention of this project is to convey the essence of ice and its intimations; to elicit the poetics contained within frozen water as revealed by current climate research. The Ice-Time installation will detail the cracks and bubbles and different forms that ice takes in ice cores, crystals, glaciers, and other natural ice formations. The images will occupy an architecture of translucent screens that layer in a faceting effect, merging into crystalline collages of shifting combinations as visitors move through. A three-dimensional soundscape will enlarge the image space, composed from the field recordings of sounds of ice, excerpts of interviews with researchers, and readings by actors of ice folklore and literature. By means of a vivid, material presence of image, sound, data, and time, the installation will imbue the spectator with a deep awareness of the environmental, spiritual, and culture implications of ice.

Research for Ice-Time is underway combining the methods of a naturalist in the field, collaboration with experts, and the collecting of scientific and cultural data. The Cryosphere, Earth’s frozen regions, is currently exhibiting the most visible indications of climate change. Direct experience with this environment is essential to the concept of Ice-Time. The project centers on an expedition to Western Greenland to the fastest moving glacier on Earth, Jakobshavn Isbrae, to document this moment in glacial space-time. Working directly with polar scientists on the ice and in the laboratory, Ice-Time engages with current research and its broader ramifications. The underlying causes, as well as the manifestations, of myriad forms of ice will be presented as an aesthetic experience to a broad and varied public.

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