The Last Ice
Dual video with sound, 2020.
There’s a laboratory in an industrial part of Copenhagen that houses ice core samples collected by climatologists from glacial sites around the world. Stored to further research into climate change, this site may eventually be the last place that glacier ice from these sites exists.There is a glaciated icecap in the remote Peruvian Andes; Quelccaya. It has provided pivotal information about the last ten thousand years of evolving climate, through air and dust trapped in falling snow and ice over the centuries; a water-based historian.
Seasonal meltwater from this glacier flows through the high-altitude streams and bogs, where local farmers keep alpaca and llama. The glacier is retreating due to atmospheric warming and is predicted to be gone within 50 years, then the water sources will dry up.
This dual video collapses the space between these connected sites. Drone footage traces the current margin of Quelccaya icecap, down the mountain to the point of the icecap’s margins at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and then further along a glacial valley carved by the glacier in the last ice-age. Alongside this is a walk-through the ice core freezer facility; a library of boxed-up frozen water from disappearing sites.
See Saturns Breath: HERE
Breathe Like the Ice (Saturn’s Breath) 2020
Flags bearing an image of an oversized galena crystal (lead/silver/zinc; the form mined in Potosi silver mine) were raised over the Quelccaya ice cap by men from the region, in an act of recognition of the molecular level territorialisation. These flags act as standards for the emergent anthropogenic landscape- lead over ice, extraction over precipitation.
More about this research: HERE
These works could not have been made without the assistance of collaborators:
– Lima-based independent arts org, Hawapi, Peru
– Dr Christian Yarlequé Instituto Nacional de Investigación en Glaciares y Ecosistemas de Montaña INAIGEM, Peru
– Quechua communty of the Phinaya district
– The Centre for Ice and Climate Science, Denmark and Dr Paul Vallelonga