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With a crew of artists and scholars I'm going on a expedition to the arctic pursuing my passion for glaciers, data, and the poles.
With a crew of artists and scholars I'm going on a expedition to the arctic pursuing my passion for glaciers, data, and the poles.
184 backers pledged $12,149 to help bring this project to life.

Recent exhibitions, performances, video clips…and an update on your publications.

Dear Backers!

I am so proud of the work we’ve made based on that expedition almost two years ago. I’m also totally aware that many of you have been more than patient in waiting for your books and CD/DVD’s. In this update I will let you know all the great and recent news as well as an update on the publications.

Recent Exhibitions

This winter and spring I’ve been quite busy exhibiting past works, working hard on performances and new work based on the 2012 trip, and also exhibiting work that looks towards future expeditions based on the fantastic experiences and things I’ve learned thus far.

It was with great pride the glass sculpture ‘ice gouge,’ was suspended more than 20 feet high during Art Basel in Miami, one of the largest art fairs in the world. The show, Of Landscape, curated by Andrea Wolf of Reverse Gallery and hosted by Parker Projects was also covered by Creators Project.

‘Of Landscape’ also exhibited in Brooklyn and for this exhibition a piece was created in collaboration with Genevieve Hoffman that had of maps outlining expedition routes and sounds from the field played from a lablike shelf that held ‘artifacts’ from a speculative expedition. A lot of these elements are inspired by the past expedition and look to a future one that will seek participation from Greenlandic communities and communities here at home in the US. As all of this happens it continues to influence the book and cd/dvd I’m working on to get published and out the door to you.

ice gouge, at interactive art fair, miami basel
ice gouge, at interactive art fair, miami basel
silasphere, at reverse gallery in brooklyn, ny
silasphere, at reverse gallery in brooklyn, ny

Recent Performances

Also in recent news I have been speaking about the trip and giving performances with glass. One performance was given at Reverse gallery as part of the landscape exhibition. And just recently, I performed through the curation of Chris Romero of Bitform Gallery, in an event organized by Hyphen Hub during the Frieze Art Fair. We had a question and answer portion after the performance as well where I was able to speak about the trip which in influenced my work immensely.

performing at hyphen-hub, nyc
performing at hyphen-hub, nyc

Timeline for the Book + CD/DVD

The book and cd are coming in final stages for the release! As mentioned before, in addition to the unexpected amount of work I encountered for more recent exhibitions and performances, publishing with the right concept and in the right way took far longer than I projected. I’ve included here a little teaser of the cover and a few inside pages. And can absolutely assure you this publications are first priority to be released as soon as possible!

sneak peak
sneak peak

More news coming this month! And happy we are seeing so much results from this expedition as well as plans for the next are based on your support.

For now, more documentation from the Sila installation your support made possible.

All the best! + More very very soon!


more press, a live sound performance coming soon on your cd, a short video clip…and the prints go out

Dear Backers,

Recently I was asked by Animal NYC to contribute an article about my artistic process leading up to an audio / visual performance. The audio included in this performance will be included as part of the cd reward for Kickstarter backers. 

This audio / visual performance was shown in a concert at Brooklyn venue The Silent Barn alongside Danish sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard, who also creates audio using field recordings gathered from Iceland and Greenland. This special performance was presented in conjunction with Soundings: A Contemporary Score at the Museum of Modern Art, in which Jacob’s work was featured. Lesley Flanigan also performed in this concert using handmade speaker feedback instruments and voice. Below is a recording of the work I presented that night.

This performance utilized an electro-acoustic glass sculpture representing ice and glaciers, amplified and manipulated with contact microphones and electronics, as well as field recordings gathered during my Arctic expedition.  The sound from this performance will be utilized in the video below, which is a rough sketch of the content I will release as a DVD and send to some Kickstarter Backers.

I have begun the long process of contacting backers to send out prints.  And for those of you patiently waiting for the CD or book, as mentioned in this update #10, I am sending out small images form the last two exhibitions you helped make happen;  4 X 4s, each one of a kind, that were shown in both Montreal at The Sight and Sound Festival, and in Brooklyn at Reverse Space.  

The book and cd release are moving forward, slowly but surely - I will continue to keep you posted with my progress on those major works, and will share details on publication as they are confirmed.  I will also be sure to share any other news, exhibitions and press that I receive as I further develop the work you all had a hand in creating.

Also, as promised, see the below documentation from my installation, Sila, at Eastern Bloc's Sight and Sound Festival in Montreal.

More news coming soon, and I hope you all enjoy seeing the results from my expedition!

spring and summer update ….press, prints, exhibitions and more

Dear Backers, 

The work that you all helped begin is coming to fruition. Images, sound and inspiration gathered from my expedition to the arctic have led to work that has already been exhibited widely. A new, major film is nearly complete. Many new visual works are complete and have been printed. I cannot thank you enough for helping realize this work and I am looking forward to finally shipping finalized artwork to my Kickstarter supporters.

Also, I would like to announce that in the next update, going out by next week, I will post samples of the video, sound...and soon after the book design. I will also share video of the recent installation sila that premiered in Montreal under that title, and then again in NYC in an event I titled earth flat. This installation was an enormous challenge physically and conceptually. The work based on the expedition you supported was a success and will grow into something everyone will be proud of! Far after your rewards are sent out, I will keep you posted on the art that you helped create. And very soon I will begin contacting everyone for mailing addresses to send out rewards.

In this update #10 I have examples of the prints I will soon be sending out to many of you, as well as recent press and images form the last two exhibitions you helped make happen. Meanwhile some of you may have noticed that my image and this project are now on the Kickstarter homepage!

This winter and spring, into May and June, I worked very hard to put together an installation I titled Sila. Sila is the Greenlandic the word for weather plus the human intelligence and the Universe, when you add ‘rsuaq’ to it, the word becomes Silarsuaq, translating into the Universe. I was invited to do an installation by Eastern Bloc in Montreal as part of SIght and Sound a month long festival in May. This work I brought to Brooklyn's Reverse Space in June and held a series of performances based on my work. You can read more about this and more in a few different articles posted below, including a feature in Impose Magazine and a piece written by Creators Project. I encourage reading and sharing the articles as this is something you helped make happen...As well, I'm including images from both exhibitions.

Images from recent press

During this time I worked on the prints, sound, and video that will be published as part of your rewards. Here are images of the prints and the installation. As well video and sound coming in the next update.

(Images from top to bottom: sight and sound programs, earth flat postcard, six views of the sila installation, Arturo Vidich performs in front of sila at Reverse, MV Carbon performs in front of sila at Reverse, four images of the small prints as they displayed in Montreal, and lastly an image of the larger prints )

For those of you receiving a higher gift than the postcard, I would like each one of you to receive a small print by me as a thank you for your patience and understanding the gifts are later than expected. Each print is a 4" X 4" one of a kind that was shown in both Montreal and in Brooklyn at Reverse. Lastly the new book and cd release is still scheduled to happen this summer. It is my goal to make this work valuable and of the highest quality, thank you for understanding this in advance and thank you for your support!

All the best,

news about upcoming shows and your rewards

Dear Backers, 

I want to share some recent news and developments in my work as well as give an update on backer gifts. I am pleased to announce quite a few things. First, video stills and ice images for those of you receiving prints will be up and online in the next three weeks for you to choose from. Along with the images there will be notes on my process for the video stills, as the algorithms used are quite special, and the results very unique. Further, all unprocessed ice images will have location information, so that you will know where the berg was when captured. 

I’m excited that video stills will be shown in April at Reverse gallery here in Brooklyn, NY. I will also have a solo show at Reverse gallery in June showing still images and a major new installation, Sila, based on the expedition. The sound and video some Kickstarter backers will be receiving will be integrated into Sila. 

I have also been invited by the interdisciplinary organization Eastern Bloc to premier Sila in May in Montreal in the Sight and Sound Festival. I will forward details about this art and process by the end of March. Included in the installation will be a thank you to all of the backers; none of the work would be possible without you. 

I will be speaking about my expedition and new work in April at University of Buffalo in a Symposium titled “Landscape Across the Disciplines” . I will make sure to share images and details of this event. 

Lastly, my CD, DVD and book will not be released with the label until May or early June. Please forgive this delay! I want to ensure a proper publication of the material. In the meantime, I will upload samples of sound, video and production details within the next few weeks and share those links with you. 

There is so much to come and I’m very excited to share it all with you. Thank you again for backing what is turning into the birth of my most ambitious work to date.

 All the best! Melissa
(video still above & more video stills below...enjoy!)

a post expedition update and news about the future

Dear Backers,

First, let me extend my sympathies to anyone who has been affected by the recent hurricane. I was fortunately not affected in major ways, but all of us in the New York City area and in many parts of the Northeast have been affected one way or another.

As we continue to adjust and experience ever shifting more intense weather patterns, I am reminded of the tenor in the air as I packed for the Arctic expedition. News was rampant about the melting of the Greenlandic Ice Sheet. I left New York’s JFK airport with great anticipation and fear for what we might come across once we got to Greenland.

Upon my arrival I found an Arctic that was unusually warm and almost balmy. There were days that I stripped down to a t-shirt during hikes. I was told by many Greenlanders that this weather was a change from years ago. As I became part of the communities there, I was brought to see lines on the sides of islands that marked where ice once thrived. I was told about how winter ice and snow affected the lifestyles of hunters and communities living with sea ice and tremendous snow falls as a part of life. I went aboard research vessels that tracked populations of fish and whales affected by the recent and more extensive use of seismic sounding for oil, gas, and other types of resource exploration. I eventually left our ship, The Wanderbird, and took the opportunity to travel with two anthropologists, one a native of Greenland. We then went further North and deeper into the communities than the original chartered ship would allow. We went far up the coast, reaching 73 degrees and farther North into small, remote villages and along the ice sheet where thunderous sounds and cracking squeaking noises marked the tremendous activity of the ice.

In addition to collecting environmental data, taking field recordings, and videotape, I sat in on interviews with hunters who told me of the changes in sea ice over the last 20-60 years that they witnessed. I was welcomed into Greenlandic homes and I was taken to places along the ice sheet and around the waters of the Arctic Seas that most people will never experience. I will always feel honored for these special opportunities.

Even in this context of the changing environment, the coast of Greenland still rules as a mecca of geological, natural splendor, and I saw a tremendous amount of ice, in more varied form and scale then I imagined I would. The Arctic, and Greenland in particular, is a place like no other that needs to be documented now. The arctic needs to be written about and understood, since it will change immensely over the next twenty years. I welcome you to visit my uploaded images of ice and Greenlandic life on Facebook. Here you will see your rewards are going to be quite special!

My travels afforded me more content then I expected. I have more material and experience than I anticipated. As an artist this is a fantastic opportunity and I owe everything to you, my backers! Fortunately, I am now beginning a two month stay as an artist in residence at SUNY Stony Brook’s Simons Center for Geometry and Physics in Long Island. Here I am part of an upcoming exhibition and here I will be fulfilling your rewards.

For those of you receiving the CD and DVD, I’m happy to say that they are confirmed to be released on a sound art label this Winter. Because of the overwhelming amount of material I have been sorting through and other events this fall, things will come out a little later than projected. I assure you they will get to you this winter and the wait will be worth it! Other recent news of note include an article in the Village Voice blog published during my expedition, as well as future exhibitions of this work scheduled for the spring of 2013—I will continue to keep you updated on announcements. Thank you so much for being a part of this project. And know that I plan to return to Greenland and the Arctic in 2013-14 thanks to such a tremendous experience.

Enjoy a few images I’ve posted here...
And thank you so much again, all the best!
Melissa F. Clarke