White Wanderer, an immersive public art installation by Luftwerk, takes inspiration from the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica, which broke off into the Weddell Sea in July 2017. Using real life recordings of the sounds and frequencies of melting and moving glaciers, the artists will create a haunting and contemplative soundtrack of climate change few have heard.
These incredible glacier sounds will accompany a scaled representation of the 120-mile crack in the Larsen C ice shelf, which will be positioned directly onto the building façade at 2 N. Riverside Plaza in Chicago to help people imagine the scale and scope of climate change. Each day, 30,000 people pass through the plaza, making it an ideal location for a public art installation.
White Wanderer will be on view - free of charge - at 2 N. Riverside Plaza from Sept. 07 – Oct. 01. It will also be on view at Navy Pier as part of EXPO CHICAGO from Sept. 13 – Sept. 17, and included in programming as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial and the City of Chicago’s Year of Public Art. White Wanderer was created in collaboration with NRDC, with additional help from the University of Chicago.
Why is this Important?
In June, President Trump announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, weakening global efforts to combat climate change. White Wanderer was developed as a public art intervention to help people experience the collossal effects of climate change in an innovative way, while bolstering support for much-needed climate conversation and action.
About Our Team
Luftwerk is the Chicago-based artistic collaboration of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero. The artists explore light, color, and perception in immersive, experience-based installations. Luftwerk has created large-scale installations at sites like Millennium Park, the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe, and the Garfield Park Conservatory by Jens Jensen. Their projects have been featured widely and have received recognition by the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network.
NRDC is an international environmental advocacy organization. NRDC works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. We combine the power of more than 2 million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 scientists, lawyers and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water and the wild. Our Water and Climate Team focuses its efforts on making families and communities safer and more resilient to the impacts of sea level rise, flooding and other effects of climate change.
What Will Your Contribution Support?
- Innovative collaboration between artists, scientists and environmental experts;
- Installation and deinstallation of audio equipment on 2 N. Riverside Plaza;
- Fabrication, installation and deinstallation of Larsen C graphic onto building facade;
- Creation of Larsen C vinyl record, along with all project materials and rewards including postcards and artist prints.
You can be a part of this timely project by pledging to our campaign. In exchange, we'll send you some incredible rewards, including a limited edition (white!) White Wanderer vinyl album, and signed artist prints. You can also help us spread the word by sharing our campaign link with your friends and colleagues.
About Our Collaborators
Our sincere thanks to Professor Douglas MacAyeal for making all audio recordings available. His work to record the sounds of Antartica was made possible by the National Science Foundation Grant PLR 14443126. Special thanks also to ER2, Normal, the Plaza Project, and Spirit of Space for their indefatigable enthusiasm and support of White Wanderer.
Risks and challenges
Chicago is a global destination in the fall and this September will be no exception. If we fail to meet our fundraising goal, we risk losing such a large and captive audience of people that visit Riverside Plaza (30,000 people daily) to have a discussion about climate change in a public forum.
As with all public art installations, weather can affect the timing and installation of the project. There is a strict weight limit for equipment used on the plaza, but we've worked carefully with building engineers to make sure our installation plan meets their requirements.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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