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Arctic Listening Post and Climate Commons
Katie Kurtz, 4 Dec 06
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When the new Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) opens in Boston this coming Sunday, December 10, visitors will have the opportunity to experience the Arctic. Rather, versions of the Arctic as mediated by technology that allows its remoteness to be not quite so remote. The Arctic Listening Post, a project by Jane D. Marsching, extends the artist's ongoing inquiry into the ways the North Pole is depicted in the cultural imaginary. The exhibition includes digital prints of people doing stunts in a glacial landscape and onsite access to Climate Commons, an online conversation centered on all things Arctic.

Climate Commons has slowly revved up since Marsching's introductory post November 26th, serving as a collective diary by folks with varying backgrounds who are doing something worldchanging within their sector to address the affects of climate change. Contributors include artists, architects, a climatologist and a glaciologist, activists, even an Episcopalian priest, and others (including Worldchanging's own Sarah Rich). The impetus for this cross-disciplinary inquiry came out of Marsching's previous project Deep North a yearlong "virtual expedition" where she culled data from a various online sources to understand not only how this complex region is suffering but – as an antidote to the grim news – the ways it's celebrated. Rather than forge ahead alone to understand the intricacies of ice, the problem of soot, the science glacial changes, and other Arctic-specific topics, Marsching assembled a dream team that could offer new and alternative perspectives on the site.

Aside from a collective diary, it can also be seen as a text-based panel discussion. Or a potluck conversation. Or evidence of how people from different backgrounds are exploring ways we are connected to a landscape that may be remote in terms of distance but is around the corner in terms of our impact on it.

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Posted by: Amanda on 23 Dec 06



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