Frank Halbig’s Antarktika

April 9th, 2008 admin

Frank Halbig
About a week ago, I visited Frank Halbig at his office at the SWR Hörspiel (radio play) department in Baden-Baden Germany. Frank has created a moving sonic interpretation of data extracted by EPICA, the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica, covering 742 millennia of climatic history. The work is called »ANTARKTIKA«, a climatic time-travel concert for string quartet, live electronics and video with the Helios String Quartet. I talked to Frank about his work (unfortunately didn’t record any of our conversations, but perhaps I can convince him to do a skype interview in the future), and was struck by his poetic use of the string quartet, the dominant mode of music production in Europe at the time of the first Antarctic explorations, to express the history of climate. I found it to be a very poignant idea and resulting work.

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Map of Antarctic Claims

April 9th, 2008 admin

Map of Antarctic claims

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Map of Antarctic Stations

April 9th, 2008 admin

map of Antarctic stations

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McMurdo from Discovery Hut

December 8th, 2007 andrea

One very unexpected effect being in Antarctica has had on me is to magnify life, particularly human life. Each time I have gotten away from McMurdo and into the silence, the escape from the crowds of people and machine noise of New York that I thought I craved, I find my ears searching for any tiny voice or machine sound. I created this short, very quiet binaural recording from the site of Discovery Hut, in it you can very faintly hear the hum of the waste treatment plant:

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‘The Dome’ from Hallett Station

November 28th, 2007 andrea

Christchurch Museum Antarctic exhibit
I’m in Christchurch New Zealand for a few days waiting to deploy, and yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the Christchurch Museum which has an extensive exhibit on Antarctic exploration.

In 1956, for the International Geophysical Year (IGY), the US and New Zealand created a joint base called Hallett Station between McMurdo and The South Pole Station. The base remained in operation until 2005, and the Christchurch museum holds many of the artifacts from this station including ‘The Dome’ pictured here, built by the US for weather recording in 1957. Click on the image to view more Hallett artifacts.

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