||Lunchtime Artist Talk with Andrea Polli|
Lunchtime @ CRCA: "Sonic Antarctica and Ground Truth" by Andrea Polli
Monday, Feb 23, 2009 @ 12:30pm
Atkinson Hall 5004 (5th Floor, across from elevators) UCSD campus
Media artist, Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media Program at the University of New Mexico Andrea Polli will describe two projects resulting from her seven-week National Science Foundation residency in Antarctica during the 2007/2008 season. Refreshments will be served.
"There is more information available at our fingertips during a walk in the woods than in any computer systemů" 
The Antarctic is unlike any other place on earth: geographically, politically, and culturally. Larger than the US, it is a frontier where borders and nationalities take a back seat to scientific collaboration and cooperation, a place where the compass becomes meaningless yet navigation is a matter of life and death. It is an extreme environment that holds some of the most unique species, but it is also an ecosystem undergoing rapid change. 2007/2008 marked the fourth International Polar Year (IPY), the largest and most ambitious international effort to investigate the impact of the poles on the global environment.
Polli will describe two projects resulting from her seven-week National Science Foundation residency in Antarctica during the 2007/2008 season: Sonic Antarctica and Ground Truth.
Sonic Antarctica is a radio broadcast, a live performance and sound and visual installation featuring natural and industrial field recordings, geosonifications and audifications, interviews with weather and climate scientists and members of the Antarctic community. The areas recorded include: The Dry Valleys (77░30'S 163░00'E) on the shore of McMurdo Sound, 3500 km due south of New Zealand, the driest and largest relatively ice-free area on the continent completely devoid of terrestrial vegetation; and the geographic South Pole (90░00'S), the center of a featureless flat white expanse, on top of ice nearly nine miles thick. Sonic Antarctica has been produced as a full-length audio CD on the Grunrecorder label.
Ground Truth follows weather observers at the South Pole and atmospheric scientists on the Ross Ice Shelf and in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, examining human presence in extreme environments. Throughout the world from Antarctica to Greenland to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, people are stationed in remote and hazardous locations to observe and record weather. Despite ubiquitous instruments that provide precise and detailed information, pilots, air traffic controllers and meteorologists depend on these human eyes to do what they call 'ground truthing'. Why, with sophisticated sensing instrumentation, do we still depend on people on the ground looking up at the clouds? What is the 'ground truth'?
1. Weiser, Mark. 1991. "The Computer for the 21st Century". Scientific American, 265(3), 94-104