PolARTS: Selected tandems 2024

Abstract image of green background with white lights
© Jean-Vincent Simonet

A total of 15 tandems of artists and researchers applied for participation in the PolARTS programme.

PolARTS offers artists and researchers the opportunity to work together on projects and to participate together in a field campaign related to polar regions.

Among the applicants, three tandems whose submitted project stood out in terms of quality, originality and prospective synergies were ultimately selected by a transdisciplinary jury in cooperation with the PolARTS initiators Pro Helvetia and the Swiss Polar Institute.

The three tandems are:

Pauline Agustoni / David Janssen

Pauline Agustoni (Designer) with David Janssen (Research Group Leader at Eawag – Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology, Aquatic Geochemistry) and their project ‘Hydrorecord: Water as a connector across space and time’

The tandem will look at the consequences of glacier melting on ecosystems in South Greenland, studying glacial-origin lakes to understand glacier retreat’s holistic effects. Employing scientific methods, artistic tools, and local insights, they will analyze water dynamics. Their 2025 joint fieldtrip will take place in Qassiarsuk and Isortoq, alongside Blake Matthews’ research group, local scientists and artists, and will explore historical and contemporary lake transformations.

Ramon De Marco / Ruzica Dadic

Ramon De Marco (Sound Scenographer) with Dr. Ruzica Dadic (Research Unit Leader at WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF) and their project ‘Sounding Snow’

By combining Ruzica Dadic’s research on snow and ice’s impact on global climate with Ramon De Marco’s expertise in sound and spatial relations, they seek innovative ways to communicate their insights effectively. Their ambitious goal is to raise awareness about climate change’s ramifications on nature and society. Despite the diverse expertise involved, they believe even small increases in climate change awareness can catalyze meaningful action. They propose using sonification, translating scientific data into sound, to convey glacier wind dynamics emotionally. Fieldwork on the Silvretta glacier will inform this endeavor, potentially engaging a broader audience emotionally through art and performance.

Janis Polar / Sandra Brügger

Janis Polar (visual artist) with Sandra Brügger (Paleoecologist, PhD of Science in Climate Sciences, University of Berne) and their project ‘Fire &(A)Ice – Exploring image-based aesthetics of microfossils in ice cores’.

The tandem aims to explore the visual aspects of microfossils preserved in ancient ice cores. Through a dynamic exchange of methodologies and expertise, the partners seek to create an innovative fusion of art and science. They plan to experiment with both analog and digital datasets across various settings, including scientific laboratories, art studios, and field locations such as conferences and museums. By examining microfossils from diverse ice core samples, they aim to uncover connections between microscopic particles and broader ecological, historical, and technological contexts. The collaboration is driven by a shared curiosity and a desire for interdisciplinary exchange, aiming to lay the groundwork for future projects blending visual art, artificial intelligence, and ice core research.