Moving Ice at Sonic Acts

EYE Amsterdam 05.03.2024 19.15


A work commissioned by BEK and a project developed in BEK’s sound studio are presented at Eye Amsterdam during the Sonic Acts biennale 5 March.

The evening Moving Ice at Eye Film Museum invites you to dive deep into the politics of cold. It starts with a live AV performance by Sébastien Robert and Mark IJzerman, Another Deep (Try-out), an immersive project that explores the impending deep-sea mining in the Svalbard region. The performance seeks to highlight the contrasts and inherent tensions present in the region, reflecting on matters such as climate change, industrialisation, and resource exploitation. Robert and IJzerman worked on the sound in a studio residency at BEK in the fall of 2023. 

After the performance Susan Schuppli’s film Moving Ice will have its world premiere. The work is co-commissioned by BEK and Sonic Acts. The film introduces less-known consequences of industrialisation in the 1800s, when ice was treated as a commodity. The ‘frozen water trade’ was a trans-hemispheric commerce in natural ice that moved its cargo along the well-established shipping routes of plantation economies and the spice trade. This film tells the story of how European and American merchants tried to cool the tropics through the financialisation of temperature, shipping natural ice extracted from glaciers and winter lakes to colonial elites around the world.

Following the screening, Schuppli and her collaborator Faiza Ahmad Khan will be joined by artist and project developer at BEK Åse Løvgren, for a conversation about Schuppli’s research into the ‘ice archives’, exposing this fascinating, obscured history.

Løvgren and Schuppli have collaborated over several years on Schuppli’s research. Schuppli participated in BEK’s symposium in 2022 with the release of the vinyl record Ice Records. The record dealt with the consequences of the melting of glaciers and ice masses, and how information about the Earth’s climate history disappears as ancient air bubbles are released from the ice they have been encased in. Schuppli gathered material from her meetings with scientists, ecologists, activists, local communities and folk singers on the record, with field recordings of everything from glaciers made by researchers in Canada, on Svalbard and the Norwegian mainland and in India to a folk tune from Ladakh about mountains, rivers and streams. Schuppli held a workshop at BEK in 2022 on how events and processes leave traces in nature and ecosystems. In autumn 2023, Løvgren and drone photographer Thomas Bugaj took drone footage of the Folgefonna glacier for Schuppli’s film.

See Schuppli’s talk on Ice Records from the 2022 BEK symposium here:

Get tickets for Moving Ice and read more here.

Susan Schuppli’s Moving Ice is part of New Perspectives for Action, a project by Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the European Union. The project is supported by Arts Council Norway and the artistic research project Illuminating the Non-Representable, at the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen.

Images: 1) Jigmet Singge and Susan Schuppli recording for «Ice Records», courtesy of Susan Schuppli 2-3) Mark IJzerman and Sébastien Robert recording in Svalbard, photo: Mark IJzerman 4) Women delivering ice in 1918 5) Faiza Ahmad Khan listening to ice, courtesy of Susan Schuppli 6) Susan Schuppli, courtesy of the artist