If the Earth growls, then glaciers beat-box. In an installation called Langjökull, Snæfellsjökull, Solheimajökull, artist Katie Paterson created three records out of glacier ice and then played them until they melted. The progression of the warbling watery sounds and liquefying flux were documented on film to create, in song, what would become the only physical record of these glaciers’ former existence.
Paterson’s ice records are formed from melted glacier water frozen into the shape of playable records. The ice records themselves start out as flat, glittering surfaces, and are then slowly scarred and dissolved by the needle and the warm air, creating unique sounds that recall rushing water, mixed with crystalline tinkling, and topped off with some old-school needle-scratches — a veritable Kid n’ Play on an Arctic shelf. In our opinion you couldn’t find a better metaphor for modern culture’s slow destruction of the planet than this remix.
The Independent declared Paterson one of Britain’s Most Creative Young Talents. Her other works include a phone you could call a glacier with (and yes, hear it melt), and a “moonbulb,” built in collaboration with scientists to recreate moonlight.