The Last Ice
Above: The Last Ice
Dual video with sound, 2020
There’s a laboratory in an industrial suburb 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 contain the last ice from glaciers predicted to disappear in the near future.
There is a glaciated icecap in the remote Peruvian Andes; Quelccaya. It is the largest tropical ice mass, providing 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 archive. 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.
Above Left: Quelccaya ice cap.
Mapping the eastern margins of the ice cap between 1790s (proxy for beginning of the Industrial Revolution), 1997 (the Kyoto protocol) and present. For research background click: HERE