Like Electronic Techno Music: The Accelerating Rhythms of Collapsing Cryospheric Auralities

Rachel Hill

Abstract


With its mutating cracks, bleeps, and booms, the contemporary cryosphere speaks in accelerating volumes. A number of contemporary artists transform these sounds of collapsing, disappearing ice into broadcastable frequencies. Rather than a remote distance beyond the reach of relevance, these artworks translate the effects of Antarctica’s melting ice into galvanizing sonic affects. These strange sonics make the pre-existing, myriad connections between ice shelves and human selves apparent. This essay surveys the work of artists Andrea Polli, Adrian Wood (in collaboration with glaciologist Grant MacDonald), Luftwerk, and Himali Singh Soin, in order to think through a phenomenon which I call ‘collapsing cryospheric auralities’. More than purely doom-laden dictatics, these sonic artworks strive to propagate hope in equal measure: gestating new trajectories and other futures beyond the seemingly intractable impasses of the present.

How to cite this article: Hill, Rachel. "Like Electronic Techno Music: The Accelerating Rhythms of Collapsing Cryospheric Auralities." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 25 (September 2021): 27-37. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i25.446

Article received: April 20, 2021; Article accepted: June 21, 2021; Published online: September 15, 2021; Original scholarly paper


Keywords


Cryosphere; Ice; Sound Art; Auralities; Ecopoetics.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i25.446

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