“Within a few weeks these murals will be forever gone, but for those who find them, I hope they ignite a sense of urgency.”
(Sean Yoro, A’o ‘Ana project website 18.01.17)
Reading Georgia McCafferty’s article on artist Sean Yoro’s A’o ‘Ana (The Warning) ice mural series, and finding out more about his work, I felt compelled to share: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/09/arts/sean-yoro-glacier-art/index.html For further images from this stunning and moving series predicated upon the precariousness of ice, and for the artist’s comments on the project, see Jacopo Prisco’s photo essay “These haunting iceberg murals only survived for a week before they melted” and Sean Yoro’s website Hula. For copyright reasons, I’m not including any of the images here.
More on the temporality of ice:
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that professionally I’m a literary critic and university teacher working in British and North American nineteenth-century writing. Attention to the visual and aural agency of ice – including melting ice – has a long history and certainly isn’t new to the anthropocene. Many writers and artists, including several from the early nineteenth century, have explored that agency and its affective properties. I mentioned some period responses to sound in my previous post Ice Thoughts 2, along with the early 21st century space-sound interactive, collaborative music project by NASA, Terry Riley, and the Kronos Quartet. Here’s an update on the theme of ice music, in an article (and by reference, a book) by Stefan Helmreich. “Melt,” part of “Theorizing the Contemporary,” in the open-access refereed journal Cultural Anthropology (January 21, 2016), identifies the sound of thawing ice as a sound very much of the anthropocene, with the deep time materiality of the earth’s atmosphere at once made audible as it is lost. In turn, Stefan Helmreich takes us back to the importance of art, since at the heart of his essay is Wendy Jacob’s 2011 award-winning installation Ice Floe for Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. A strongly recommended read with an added “listen.”
Greenland Sea, March 2016. My photo. ©Susan Oliver