Alum Katie Wood Sounds Climate Change in Antarctica

In the age of human influence on the Earth’s ecosystems, Katie Wood (MFA 2019) and scientist Grant Macdonald have developed ways of sonically communicating global climate. Their ongoing collaboration, dripping, creaking, flowing, examines transformations in Antarctica through sound.

On Hyperallergic, Wood describes the objectives of the project as “giving people a way to connect emotionally to the changing landscape in Antarctica, because it is so remote.” Wood and Macdonald blur the realities of the continent by using foley techniques in a studio. The crashing of water on ice banks is sourced at the Indiana Dunes National Park while the imitation of crunching on snow is created by stepping on granulated sugar. On their interactive website, these sounds are paired with sites on Antartica where Macdonald has conducted research. According to Wood, the work defines “the human-made quality of ‘natural’ environments in [an]...era when all places have been touched by human economic and social systems.”