CALL WALKS // Ice Cubed: An Inquiry into the Aesthetics, History, and Science of Ice

April 16th at 11:45 am

This walk with artist Marshall Reese and anthropologist Ben Orlove focused on landscape and the passage of time using techniques of deep listening pioneered by composer Pauline Olveros. The walk began at Broadway and 116th Streets, headed West following the disappeared creek banks that fed into the Hudson and continued through Riverside Park, taking account of traces of past geological events. The group then headed East on 108 St and engaged in a sonic meditation to end at Straus Park, dedicated to Ida and Isador Straus, who were lost on the Titanic.

 This CALL WALK was presented for Ice Cubed: An Inquiry into the Aesthetics, History, and Science of Ice, a two day conference hosted by the Heyman Center.

Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese have collaborated together as the artistic duo LigoranoReese since the early 1980s.  Their work is an ongoing investigation into the impact of technology on society and the rhetoric of politics and visual culture in the media.  LigoranoReese's body of work is multidisciplinary and includes limited edition multiples, videos, sculptures and installations which involve a range of unusual materials and industrial processes.

Benjamin Orlove, an anthropologist, has conducted field work in the Peruvian Andes since the 1970s and also carried out research in East Africa, the Italian Alps, and Aboriginal Australia. His early work focused on agriculture, fisheries and rangelands. More recently he has studied climate change and glacier retreat, with an emphasis on water, natural hazards and the loss of iconic landscapes. In addition to his numerous academic articles and books, his publications include a memoir and a book of travel writing. 

Ice embodies material contradictions. Produced from the chemical phase transition that water undergoes at low temperature, it is an elusive and entropic kind of matter. Ice takes many forms, from the thin skin on a puddle after a frost to the great mass of a glacier or an iceberg. In its mineral, crystalline state, it is solid and stable, unyielding to pressure, yet its liquidity is ever-present. Ice is deceptive: its transparency can mask its depth and belie its bulk. With indescribable surface and shape-shifting volume, even the most unyielding ice is malleable and fugitive. Regardless of scale and despite appearances, ice is unstable, friable and brittle, liable to fracturing, reshaping and of course, melting. MORE