A Fun Look at Climate Change at Oakland University

Oakland University Exhibit Allows Viewers to Contemplate A World Without Ice

“World Without Ice,” a multimedia art installation focusing on Earth’s changing climate, will be open for public viewing between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. from Tuesday, September 5 through Saturday, September 9 at Oakland University’s Varner Lab Theatre.

Oakland University exhibit allows viewers to contemplate a ‘World Without Ice

Oakland University exhibit allows viewers to contemplate a ‘World Without Ice

“The issue of climate change and the questions surrounding it are among the most pressing challenges we face today,” said Andrea Knutson, Ph.D., an associate professor of English at OU. “This installation and the attendant events are an ongoing opportunity to reflect on the issue, talk to each other about it, and ask the questions we have.”

Part science, part music, part art, the multisensory experience is anchored by an original composition by artist and composer Stephen Rush that uses musical patterns and structures derived from a century of climate data.

A series of suspended ice domes, which melt and drip onto an array of differently tined drums, complement’s Rush’s score. This innovative instrument, created by artist and musician Michael Gould, sits in visual composition with a film by artist and designer Marion Tränkle that is projected beyond the drums and ice domes.

The film blends photographs from both the Arctic and Antarctic by geophysicist and climate scientist Henry Pollack, a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and his colleagues to provide a gorgeous, slowly evolving large-scale envelope for the installation.

“Working together, they (Pollack, Rush, Gould and Tränkle) have forged a unique space combining media and soundscape where audiences can sit and reflect on what climate change means to them,” Knutson said.

In addition to the art installation, the exhibit will also feature an opening lecture – “Confronting Climate Change: What are the Challenges?” – and Q&A session with Pollack from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on September 5 at Varner Recital Hall, as well as a “World Without Ice” concert from 8-10 p.m. on September 9 at Varner Recital Hall.

The concert will feature improvised and composed music presented by Gould and Rush, who have collaborated around the world, together with narration by Pollack. The program will also include a sonification of climate change data, a short film, “Rocket to the Moon (1933),” set to live music, and a special guest appearance by Oakland University physics professor/singer/guitarist Alberto Rojo.

Admission to the art installation and lecture is free, while admission to the concert is $8 for students and $14 for the general public.

For more information about the exhibit, visit worldwithouticeinstallation.com.

“World Without Ice” is funded by the College of Arts and Sciences; the Judd Family Endowed Fund; the School of Music, Theatre and Dance; the Department of English and American Studies Concentration.

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