At the Moraine

At the Moraine: Envisioning the Concerns of Ice

At the Moraine is multi-year, collaborative research project that studies the perception, mediation and representation of global climate change. The project is especially attuned to the ways that climate science has become a politically-charged domain of inquiry that includes practices of inhabiting, sampling, picturing and coexisting with geological phenomena such as melting glacier ice, geological sediment, and rare earth minerals. A moraine is an accumulation of geological debris shaped and deposited by glaciers as they recede. We explore how the Greenland Ice Sheet, the Icefjord and its moraine conjoin 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.

In June 2019, we held a site-specific workshop in Ilulissat, Greenland, a township of 4000 people. The workshop sought to challenge models of climate analysis rooted in colonial history and the global resource economy. Our gathering of scholars and artists addressed the moraine of the Ilulissat Icefjord as a nexus point where local, global and planetary concerns are mediated across diverse representational activities. 

Organized by: Amanda Boetzkes (University of Guelph) and Jeff Diamanti (University of Amsterdam)

ImageJessie KleemannArkhtikós Doloros, 2019. Performed for “At the Moraine: Envisioning the Concerns of Ice” workshop on June 19, 2019. Filmed by Chelsea Reid.


Jessie Kleemann is a Greenlandic poet and performance artist. Born in Upernavik and based in Copenhagen, Kleemann has performed worldwide. Her performance Arkhticós Doloros has been shown at numerous exhibitions including:  Inua (Inuit Art Center, Winnipeg 2021); Exposure: Native Art and Political Ecology (MoCNA, Santa Fe, 2021); Three Hundred Years of Art in Greenland (Museum of Religious Art, Lemvig); and Worst Case Scenario: Four Artists from Greenland at the Lunds Konsthalle, Sweden (2021). See her interview with Amanda Boetzkes here.

Mark Nuttall is Henry Marshall Tory Chair of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, and head of the Climate and Society Research Group at Ilisimatusarfik, University of Greenland. See his interview with Amanda Boetzkes and Jeff Diamanti here.

Mel Chin is a conceptual artist based in Houston, Texas. He is known for artworks that require collaborative, multidisciplinary practices and conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas. In 2019, Mel Chin was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship Award. See his interview with Amanda Boetzkes and Jeff Diamanti here.

Brice Nöel is a glaciologist from the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research at Utrecht University. His research focuses on the surface-mass balance of there Greenland Ice Sheet. See his interview with Amanda Boetzkes and Jeff Diamanti here.

Shezad Dawood is a multimedia artist based in London, UK. Dawood’s ten-part video cycle, Leviathan, was inaugurated at the 2017 Venice Biennale and has toured throughout Europe, North America and Asia. In dialogue with marine biologists, oceanographers, political scientists and trauma specialists, Leviathan considers links between borders, mental health and marine welfare. See his interview with Amanda Boetzkes and Jeff Diamanti here.

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