Liquid Architecture Festival of Sound Arts Australia

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Curatorial Statement

This year Liquid Architecture is proud to present Antarctic Convergence featuring a range of artworks responding to the unique physical and spatial attributes of the Antarctic continent and its surrounding ocean. Antarctica is commonly assumed to be a soundless place except for the omnipresent howl of katabatic winds gusting across an extraordinary landscape comprising glaciers, icebergs, and sea ice. While Antarctica can be deafening in its silence, it is also a place of unusual sonic encounters generated by variable weather, diverse wildlife, and the sound of human enterprise.

Antarctic Convergence demonstrates the diversity of experience one can have across the Antarctic continent with artworks generated through first hand encounters with the frozen continent. Artworks have also been created from the translation of scientific data measuring atmospheric or oceanic conditions and variations. In our 2012 program, these works combine to provide a rich and diverse encounter of this remote location few people have the chance to experience.

2012 marks the centenary of Sir Douglas Mawson’s famous expedition to Antarctica in which he surveyed a large tract of the continent directly south of Australia while enduring unimaginable hardship. His fearlessness and determination to discover new knowledge about this remarkable place laid the foundation for the strong bond that exists between Australia and Antarctica. It seems apt then to use a mechanism like Antarctic Convergence to advance our understanding of the southern polar region and to explore how art can be used to interrogate one of the most isolated, hazardous yet environmentally rich continents on earth.

Lawrence English and Dr Philip Samartzis



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