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Interactive Soundart Projects

___Calling the Glacier________________________________


Images, static or in motion, are always spatially displaced representations of our reality. Before they can touch us emotionally this intrinsic distance has to be overcome. Sound knows no such barriers. Sounds reach the mind and the subconscious directly. Although this difference seems almost negligible, it is nonetheless essential.

The project series Call me! researches sounding signals of nature phenomena caused by climate change. Telecommunications technology is used to establish a real-time acoustic connection or, if this is technically impossible transmitting the sonic survey of one whole day. For any participator, active calling provides the possibility of individually experiencing locations normally unreachable and mostly neglected by headline news.

Pure information transfer is not the main issue with projects like Calling the Glacier, devoted to the melting ice around the world. Much more important is the individual emotional contact created by listening live to the sounds, unobtruded by any visuals. Activating this perspective in connection with social, political and scientific aspects is the aim of Call me!

CALLING THE GLACIER is a direct telephone connection to a glacier. A microphone installed on site transmits sounds from nature, directly and without editing, to the caller. You hear flowing water of varying intensity, sporadic cracking and other sounds, which a 'living glacier' utters with the change of seasons.

In the meantime the reality of climate change has reached a large part of the general public. The glaciers of this planet are a striking symbol of this change. They resemble giant living creatures, which are slowly and in many cases frighteningly quickly shrinking, literally leaking off and disappearing.

Calling the Glacier invites the caller to get in touch. Of course, the glacier itself is not in a position to answer, but when a caller makes the decision to dial this number, he will find himself there, in real time, any time, from anywhere. The focus is not on sensational reporting from strange, far-away worlds, but on a personal experience of a process concerning al of us.


Calling the Glacier - Soundart project by Kalle Laar - in collaboration with
Kulturraum erbe, Raiffeisenbank Sölden, Austria
Geodesy and Glaciology, Bavarian Academy of Sciences