Common Grounds – Permafrost Sonification

The circumpolar region of the arctic is the fastest warming place on earth. While finally acknowledged by the public, and already felt as more frequent extreme weather events, the topic of climate change still remains difficult to engage with or talk about. Operating on a spatial and temporal scale much larger and slower than one we could percieve, it is for many just an inaccessible, looming threat.

Using the theater apparatus as a focused environment, our sound and light installation establishes a common ground for listening. Translating the arctic’s weather and climate into sound, it allows access to this phenomena through a physical and sensorial musical experience, opening up a special listening perspective.

Inside the Lab02, an artificial sonic environment plays through a dataset of 20 years of hourly weather measurements, recorded at N 78° in the Svalbard archipelago, Norway. This data is rendered audible through various sonification methods we developed, forming a polyphonic ‘choir’ that compresses these 20 years into a single hour loop.

Inside this environment you are offered a map, connected to an audio guide that will help you navigate the different stations and sounds.

Common Grounds is an artistic scientific project and is being developed by Kerstin Ergenzinger and Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari of the Sono-Choreographic Collective in collaboration with Tobias Grewenig and the Permafrost research group led by Julia Boike at Alfred-Wegener-Institut Potsdam.

Common Grounds ATD Documentation

Project Information

Contact Kerstin Ergenzinger
Duration Since 2022
Funding Academy for_theatre_and_digitality
Role of AWI
in Project
Participants (AWI)

Julia Boike

Participants (extern) Kerstin Ergenzinger, Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari, Tobias Grewenig
Section (AWI) Permafrost Research