Susan Schuppli: Ice Records listening session
Together we will listen to the LP Ice Records which includes material from Susan Schuppli´s encounters with scientists, ecologists, activists, communities, and folk singers. From field recordings captured at glacial sites by researchers in Canada, Svalbard, Norway, and India to a Ladakhi folk song about mountains, rivers, and streams, these tracks take listeners into the sonic worlds of ice.
LP launch & listening session
Time: 12 November at 11:00
Venue: Østre, Østre Skostredet 3
During the symposium the artist and researcher Susan Schuppli presents a newly created project Ice Records – a sonic explorations of the climate records captured in ice sheets and glaciers. The project takes the form of a listening session, a text work, an LP, and a lecture.
As glaciers melt and ice sheets retreat, information about the Earth’s climate histories is also vanishing as ancient air bubbles captured in ice are released. The atmospheric archive recorded by glaciers and ice sheets provides unequivocal evidence of increased greenhouse gas emissions and thus global warming. Every recording is a consequence of the moisture content, air pressure, and temperature that combine to modify the properties of sound waves as they travel through a medium. The sounds of ice are, in effect, an acoustic archive of multiple temporalities and environmental histories. This “record” and vinyl pressing gathers together material from Schuppli’s encounters with scientists, ecologists, activists, communities, and folk singers. From field recordings captured at glacial sites by researchers in Canada, Svalbard, Norway, and India to a Ladakhi folk song about mountains, rivers, and streams, these tracks take listeners into the sonic worlds of ice.
Side ONE of the LP comprises field recordings captured at various glaciers as well reflections from those living on ice. Besides Susan Schuppli herself, these are done by the glaciologists Martin Sharpe and Oskar Glowacki, researcher Faiza Ahmad Khan, environmentalist Nishant Tiku, musician Morup Namgyal who also collects local traditional songs about ice, and artist Ingrid Kristensen Bjørnaali. The latter contributes with recordings from Bondhusbreen (an offshoot of Folgefonna glacier) done during the workshop “Landscape as Material Witness” that Schuppli and BEK held in February 2022. Side TWO is an original score composed by musician Mohamad Safa for the film “Svalbard Arctic Archipelago” realised by Susan Schuppli in 2020. The LP includes a text work with reflections on the field recordings and their particular contexts, histories and Schuppli’s work with them.
Ice Records is a limited-edition vinyl LP commissioned and produced by BEK and pressed at Nordsø Records in Copenhagen, Denmark. A big thanks to Peter Voss-Knude for valuable input in the process!
Susan Schuppli’s work explores the ways in which non-human witnesses, such as materials and objects, enter into public discourse and testify to historical events, especially those involving political violence, ethnic conflict, and war crimes. This research resulted in the monograph Material Witness: Media, Forensics, Evidence, published by MIT Press in 2020. Her current research and artistic production expands these legal investigations to examine how environmental systems and the transformations brought about by global warming are also generating new forms of evidence; creating, in effect, a planetary archive of material witnesses. Schuppli’s artistic work has been exhibited throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. She is Director of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London and is an affiliate artist- researcher and Board Chair of Forensic Architecture.
Photo credits: Image of the Ice Records LP and photos from the LP insert courtesy of Susan Schuppli.