At the Moraine is a site-specific workshop that considers the perception, mediation and representation of glacier ice in the era of global climate change. The workshop was held in Ilulissat, Greenland, a community of roughly 4000 people.
A moraine is an accumulation of geological debris shaped and deposited by glaciers as they recede. This workshop positions its participants at the moraines of the Ilulissat Icefjord, a Unesco World Heritage Site. The Ilulissat Icefjord flows from the Greenland Ice Sheet which has been melting at unprecedented rates for over two decades. The workshop establishes the imperative to enrich theories of climate change – both scientific and humanities-based – with a situated perspective of the phenomenon of glacier melt. While the Ice Fjords of West Greenland are key sites of study for climate scientists who assess the mass of the Ice Sheet and the variability of its rate of melt, this workshop considers how glacier melt is obscured by conflicting epistemological standpoints. The workshop particularly challenges those models rooted in colonial history and the global resource economy which obscure the local ecology. Our gathering of scholars and artists therefore considers how the Ilulissat Icefjord is a nexus point where the local, global and planetary concerns of ice are mediated across diverse representational practices and aesthetic actions.
At the Moraine is especially attuned to the ways that glaciology has become a politically-charged and geocultural domain of inquiry that includes mediated practices of inhabiting, sampling, representing and coexisting with glacier ice. We therefore explore how the Icefjord conjoins a global network of Greenlandic knowledge and culture, climate science, contemporary artistic practices, and theories of political ecology in the world’s largest indigenous sovereign territory.
Amanda Boetzkes (University of Guelph) and Jeff Diamanti (University of Amsterdam)