The digital media project Arctic Listening Post explores climate change and sustainability through the lens of a collaborative, interdisciplinary hybrid science/research/art practice. Works based on research into the effects of the climate crisis on the north pole and deep Arctic seeks to create hybrid forms that interweave science, culture, representation, history, and wonder.
A catalog of the project is available.
A project of Creative Capital
with the generous support of the LEF Contemporary Work Fund, Artadia, and The Artists Resource Trust
a short film based on one year of webcam images at the north pole
a virtual journey to the north pole
a set of associations and exceptions
vaudevillian tableaux in arctic glacial terrains rendered in 3D
a networked conversation about climate change, the arctic, and sustainability
the physical site of the networked conversation
visualization of 7° rise in temp at north pole in next 100 years
an architectural response to climate data on a global scale
Arctic Listening Post
The north pole is a geographic point that is inaccessible, unrepresentable, all darkness or overwhelming light. A place one travels to, but never remains at. But as our farthest north, spiritual summit, heroic destination, most extreme landscape on the farthest edge of the world, it is also always waiting to be found, rediscovered, and represented. News clips of feats of daring–kiteboarders, golf tournaments, naked swimming—have taken the place of stories and images of cultured Westerners fighting against the extreme environment.
Quintessential wilderness, vast tracts of land and sea and ice beyond our borders of representation and understanding, the Arctic is pictured as sublime frontier, filled with the supernatural or paranormal, a place outside of the normal vagaries of life, where even our shadows, footprints, and breath act alien to us.
What may not be expected in this country of eternal light? I may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle and may regulate a thousand celestial observations that require only this voyages to render their seeming eccentricities forever.
—Mary Shelly, Frankenstein, letter from Walton, explorer to north pole
As we move into this time of climate change media glut, the age-old tales of exploration, myth, and literature yield to climate concerns, meterological data, ocean currents, etc. Shelly’s Frankenstein lecturing about the quest for glory on the way to the North Pole is now Al Gore on a elevating platform gesturing towards complex graphs of temperature fluctuations. The technologies of communication deployed by science, industrialization, and geopolitical concerns picture this territory now. What was once considered a wilderness foreign to our Western culture is now a harbinger of our future and so has become part of us. The natural, the technological, and the production of data are no longer in conflict, but exist in reciprocal need.
The ongoing new media art project Arctic Listening Post explores climate change and sustainability through the lens of a collaborative, interdisciplinary science research art practice. The project seeks to create hybrid digitally based forms that interweave science, culture, representation, history, and wonder. Through data mining and a synthesis of virtual spaces with photographed realities, the works seek to create an experience of how the digital seems to blur, threaten or liberate our physical bodies and natural world. Finally through producing what Pierre Huyghe calls “an aesthetic of alliances”, I point to the multiplicity of voices behind the creation of any cultural representation with the deep hope of inspiring others to create their own conversations about the interrelationships sustaining our world.
Thanks to: Victor and Bridge McSurely, Matt Shanley, Christopher Wawrinofsky, Justin C. Knapp, Deb Todd Wheeler, Bonnie Duncan, Tim Gallagher, Naomi Greenfield, Harry LaCoste, Mike Waters, Aaron Walsh, Matt Nolan, Jock Gill, Jim Overland, Dorothy Duncan, Louisa McCall, Ruby Lerner, George Fifield, Sheila Gallagher, Larissa Harris, Carole Anne Meehan, Terrence Morash, Shane Brennan, and many others