The Arctic is often seen as an inhospitable place where life and resources are scarce. Yet, the frozen ground underneath the tundra contains a wealth of bacteria. This source of microbial biodiversity has been encapsulated in ice for thousands of years. Huge quantities of carbon-rich organic matter are another frozen asset. They are the remnants of plants and animals that once thrived here when the atmosphere was much warmer.
Now that the effects of human-induced climate change become more visible, our common perception of the Arctic mainly focuses on the melting sea ice. But major changes also happen on land. The ground starts to thaw and long-dormant bacteria have awakened, unlocking and releasing large amounts of organic carbon into the atmosphere.
Blurring the boundaries between geological past and imminent future, this project studies and visualizes the information stored in this frozen archive before it transforms and disappears forever.
Recycled polyester, salt, water, projection
400 × 400 × 20 cm
Exhibited at Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design & Architecture, Hasselt (BE).
Images: Liva Storytelling