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Arctic Ice: A Visual Archive

By Cy Keener, Justine Holzman, Ignatius Rigor, and John Woods

September 15, 2022 - February 15, 2023

NAS Building, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., Upstairs Gallery

Free. Photo ID and proof of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination are required. Masks are optional.

Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays; closed weekends and holidays. No reservation required.

Arctic Ice: A Visual Archive presents two new bodies of work—Iceberg Portraiture and Sea Ice Daily Drawings—integrating field data, remote satellite imagery, scientific analysis, and multimedia visual representation to document Arctic ice that is disappearing due to climate change. It is the outcome of a four year collaboration spanning art, design, and polar science between artist Cy Keener, landscape researcher Justine Holzman, climatologist Ignatius Rigor, and scientist John Woods. 

With this work, Keener and Holzman’s goal is to make scientific data tangible, visceral, and experiential. They ask how artistic and creative practices can contribute to scientific endeavors while expanding the visual possibilities of science communication. What emerges are alternate perspectives into the collection and representation of environmental data.

Much of what researchers know about the oceans and about sea ice has been gained through environmental modeling devices, deployed at different times in different locations. When combined, this data becomes the substance of complex and ever-evolving scientific research. This exhibition provides a small window into the datasets that compose climate science.

Pictured at left: A tripod supports light and temperature sensors that extend from the air above the ice down through the ice and into the ocean. The watertight enclosure to the left houses custom electronics, a battery, and a satellite modem to transmit data off the ice. This sensor is typical of the custom instruments designed by Cy Keener and Justine Holzman to collect data and to inform their artwork.

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