Monday, November 26, 2007

if only i lived in london

If I lived in London, not only would I be Kate Moss's BFF, but also I would attend Katie Paterson's show at ROOM gallery. Beginning on January 24 of 2008, ROOM will be exhibiting Paterson's lovely and inspiring langjökull, snæfellsjökull, solheimajökull. Picture this: three records, made of ice, playing on three turntables. Each record documents the sound of a melting glacier in Iceland. As the records play, they melt, altering the sound of the original recording. This performance was captured to create three films, which will be shown at ROOM early next year.

As the gallery website describes it (and most beautifully, I might add),
"These ‘ice records’ were then played on three turntables, playing the sounds of the melting glaciers from whence the water/ice had come, until they had completely melted over nearly two hours. Miniature landscapes were formed as the needle traced over the ice as it was worn down. The sound is embedded, locked, inscribed into the material itself. Playing out the dissolving landscape. Nothing remained."

Of course, something DID remain--the still and moving images that document the ephemeral event (including the above still, from ROOM's website). How does the presence of a document alter the way we think about live performance and material dissolution? Maybe it's the snowfall we had last week (the first snow I've seen in 19 years), but this piece has really affected me. Lest I get too sappy, I've included a picture of Kate Moss.

Check out ROOM's website ( and Paterson's website ( for more information.