Chicago-based artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero have turned a Chicago courtyard into a haunting reenactment of a glacier’s death rattle.
Back in 2005, Douglas MacAyeal, a professor of geophysical science at the University of Chicago, recorded the unsettling sounds of a giant iceberg calving from the Ross Ice Shelf. According to Hyperallergic, Bachmaier and Gallero, who work under the name Luftwerk, took those recordings, put them on a seven-minute loop, and transformed them into a powerful, immersive sound installation, called “White Wanderer.” Inspired by the imminent breakup of the Larsen C ice shelf, which eventually produced an iceberg the size of Delaware, the artists raised money for the project on Kickstarter, and worked in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the University of Chicago to bring the project and their climate change soundtrack to life.
Now the immersive artwork has turned the courtyard of a rather anonymous office building into a powerful message about global warming and the world’s changing topography. If you’re in Chicago, check it out at Two North Riverside Plaza, and see the companion exhibition on view at the Navy Pier as part of Expo Chicago between September 13 and 17.