adfreeze - the process by which two objects are bonded together by ice
My next big polar project is a collaboration with visual artist Oona Stern. In just a few weeks we will be heading north to create a
series of site-specific art installations in the Arctic. We'll journey to Spitsbergen (part of the Svalbard archipelago, which lies north of mainland Norway). Here we will participate in the Arctic Circle Expeditionary Residency Program, exploring the region aboard a traditionally-rigged tall ship (yay! fancy sailboat!), alongside 20-or-so other artists, scientists and educators.
During the expedition Oona and I will develop Adfreeze Project, a series of artworks that combine sound and form to respond to our location each day. At each site a material or feature will be selected as a focus for visual and aural interactions. Natural patterns, evidence of changes in ecological systems, and other environmental events are of special interest to us.
On land, local materials such as stones, sand, driftwood, shells, ice, water, bones and vegetation will be manipulated to draw attention to an aspect of the site. These materials will also be played as musical instruments in compositions and improvisations that translate the site's physical forms into musical gestures. On the ship elements such as sea spray, waves, wind and snow, as well as sounds from the ship herself, will be shaped and recorded. Drawings, rubbings and other mark-making processes will create visual records, echoing the visual data collection of early explorers. Site characteristics and interventions will also be documented with video and photography. At each location, activities will leave no lasting impact on the site.
Post-expedition, we will produce a series of multi-media portraits of the Arctic, designed for exhibition in galleries, educational institutions and online venues. I will also develop musical performances that can be played within, or in conjunction with, our art exhibitions. In these concerts I will play amplified natural objects from Spitsbergen in combination with edited field recordings made during our expedition. The first Adfreeze Project exhibition and performance will take place in Tromsø, Norway, in late October on our way back from Spitsbergen.
We'll be posting updates online as we travel through this land of polar bears and glaciers. Follow our Arctic adventures on the Adfreeze Project blog.
You can help support the project by purchasing special limited edition or subscription artworks, or by making a tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor, the New York Foundation for the Arts.