Glacial Time, Glacial Stillness
Archival inkjet prints, drum leaf binding, perfect binding, drop spine clamshell box
Each book: 3.5 x 6 x 0.5” Box: 7 x 4.25 x 2”
Glacial Time, Glacial Stillness was created in response to an artist residency in Glacier National Park in Montana. It provides a visual representation of glacial recession due to global warming, and also explores the loss of the park’s glaciers as a metaphor for understanding time, change, and loss in our own lives. Glacial Time, Glacial Stillness consists of a drop spine clamshell box containing three small books.
The two perfect bound flipbooks illustrate the process of glacial recession for two of the park’s main glaciers (Grinnell Glacier and Sperry Glacier) between 1850 and the present. Each book contains 40 sequential glacial perimeters of increasingly diminished area, allowing for a clear depiction (through flipbook animation) of the substantial loss of the park’s glacial ice during the past 160 years. These glacial perimeter maps are derived from US Geological Survey scientific datasets.
The additional drum leaf bound book, carries forward both the work’s title, Glacial Time, Glacial Stillness, and the metaphorical content of the work. It contains photographs of melting glaciers (with an emphasis on close up and abstract views of ice) within the park that I visited during my residency, accompanied by text that metaphorically explores ideas of how time is understood differently when represented as still images or as a continuous flow, both in our own lives and in relation to the loss of glacial ice. The book’s text provides a way of understanding change, possibility, and loss within our own lives, and suggests that by taking the time to closely observe, record, and reflect upon the glaciated features of the natural world, we can learn to see ourselves and the land as components of a larger whole, and to respect and preserve the world we are a part of.