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Exploring the Ghosting Glacier: A Creative Vision of Human-Nature Interaction

Through her work in the outdoors, artistic director Rebekka Saeter has embarked on a journey to various glaciers across the globe. Witnessing the profound impact of climate change on these unique landscapes, she was moved and troubled. In August 2019, during an outdoor education symposium at Finse in Norway, Saeter visited the Hardangerjokulen glacier, where she conceived the idea of creating a collaborative art project. This project aimed to intertwine the relationship between humans and the glacier, shedding light on untold stories and amplifying the voices of the natural world. Thus, “ghosting Glacier” was born—a manifestation of Saeter’s creative vision.

The Concept of “Ghosting”

“Ghosting” refers to the act of producing, composing, recording, revising, and sharing in the context of this project. It is a collaborative and interdisciplinary art project that delves into the essence of the glacier. Saeter and her crew hope to capture the unique stories of the glacier through a short film and an original musical soundtrack produced directly at, on, and close to the glacier itself by investigating the human-nature relationship in the face of climate change.

Investigating the Human-Nature Relationship

The ghosting Glacier project takes an artistic method to investigating the ongoing impact of human contact with the environment. Saeter investigates the interwoven wills of the human and animal realms in order to blur the borders between glacial and human. The project pushes us to perceive surfaces, substances, waves, atmospheres, and the interfaces that connect them rather than objects and subjects.

Challenges and Excitement in Glacial Exploration

Glaciers are dynamic environments that are constantly melting, moving, and transforming. What was available just a few days ago could be changed today. Flexibility and adaptability are required to capture the ever-changing features of nature’s manifestations. Artists and explorers must be totally present, embracing the unpredictability of the weather and the resulting shifts in the surrounding light, which have a direct impact on the appearance and sounds of the glacier. This continual shift creates both obstacles and opportunities for artists, who must be prepared for unforeseen changes and remain flexible in their creative pursuits.

The Quest for Audio Excellence

A strong and portable audio system capable of properly capturing the spirit of the surroundings is required to achieve flexibility and excellence in audio production. The ghosting Glacier team, which included photographers Syversen and Holmen, musicians Muraglia and Edwards, and guide Laumann, saw the necessity for a tiny yet powerful PA system. They initially thought a generator would be required, but quickly recognized that such a solution would be heavy, noisy, and contradictory to their environmentally friendly approach.

The Bose S1 Pro multi-position PA system proved to be the perfect solution. This small and lightweight device produces high-quality audio, allowing the team to easily take it to any position where a loudspeaker is required. Its dual power option—plug-in or rechargeable lithium-ion battery—adds to its ease.

Confronting the Glacier: Transport and Uncertainty

To reach the foot of the Nigardsbreen glacier, which is part of the larger Jostedalsbreen glacier, one must walk for two hours. The first ice cave can be found after another hour of walking on the glacier. The Bose S1 Pro system’s portability and tiny footprint proved useful during this difficult journey. With no past experience carrying a loudspeaker system to a glacier and constantly changing conditions, the team was forced to adapt and discover solutions on the fly in a variety of places.

Embracing the Unknown: Improvisation and Artistic Exploration

During their time on the glacier, the team immersed themselves in the surroundings, embracing the unknown. They recorded sounds, listened intently, improvised choreographic material, and shot a variety of footage. In one case, the loudspeakers were mounted in various locations within an ice cave, where a variety of audio tracks played as microphones and cameras recorded the interactions. Notably, a poem written by Michael De-Dannan Datura was recorded and repeated, capturing the behavior of sound as it resonated throughout the area.

Realizing the Creative Vision

The ability of Saeter and her team to bring a complicated and imaginative vision like ghosting Glacier to life is a credit to their expertise and dedication. The music and sound production manager, Leon Muraglia, underlines the importance of the Bose S1 Pro system in accomplishing their vision. Its self-powered, stereo capabilities, Bluetooth connectivity, line-in possibilities, durability, and professional-quality sound, combined with its lightweight form, were ideal.

Ghosting Glacier is a moving examination of the human-nature relationship in the face of climate change. Rebekka Ster and her team hope to magnify the voices of the more-than-human world and draw attention to the endangered beauty of glaciers through a collaborative art project including video and music. They used the Bose S1 Pro system to do so.

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