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Ice core modulations: Performative digital poetics

Ice core modulations: Performative digital poetics

Andrea Wollensak PhD, Bridget Baird PhD and Judith Goldman / USA

Ice Core Modulations is an inter-disciplinary collaboration involving electronic generative art and simultaneous live performance (approx. 13mins). In each unique enactment, a visual artist, a poet, a computer scientist, and a composer engage with collectively developed processes for exploring and creatively interpreting the climate data on the Earth’s atmosphere from ancient through contemporary times, collected from Antarctic ice core samples.

The visual-graphic elements of Ice Core Modulations have been developed in Processing visualization language. Data on changing CO2 levels through geological time are used as a driver to shift the behavior and appearance of representations both of CO2 bubbles trapped in the ice and of ice cracking due to global warming.

Ice Core Modulations poetry component includes both visual and composed sonic elements, using language culled from scientific research on ice as atmospheric archive. As the poet performs, textual fragments appear and visually interact within the landscape of evolving and dissolving gaseous and crystalline forms. This on-screen generation of phrases and live voice is processed in real-time and utilizes effects such as reverb and distortion. With the ice’s CO2 content increasing over time, the processing of the poet’s reading becomes more extreme.