Common Grounds



Common Grounds is An artistic-scientific, collaborative project that explores methods for listening, sensing and understanding climate change from an embedded perspective by taking novel approaches for performative sonifications of data through the theatrical apparatus.

The circumpolar region of the arctic is the fastest warming place on earth. While finally acknowledged by the public, and already felt as more frequent extreme weather events, the topic of climate change still remains difficult to engage with or talk about. Operating on a spatial and temporal scale much larger and slower than one we could percieve, it is for many just an inaccessible, looming threat.

Using the theater apparatus as a focused environment, our sound and light installation establishes a common ground for listening. Translating the arctic’s weather and climate into sound, it allows access to this phenomena through a physical and sensorial musical experience, opening up a special listening perspective.

In this first realisation of the project, an artificial sonic environment plays through a dataset of 20 years of hourly weather measurements, recorded at N 78° in the Svalbard archipelago, Norway. This data is rendered audible through various sonification methods we developed, forming a polyphonic ‘choir’ that compresses these 20 years into a single hour loop.

Inside this environment visitors are offered a map, connected to an audio guide that will help them navigate the different stations and sounds.

To read more about the process and thinking behind the work, visit our wiki page here

Common Grounds, installation view; Bayelva Station;  Photo credits: Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari, Kerstin Ergenzinger; AWI Potsdam

Common Grounds is an artistic-scientific project and is being developed together with Kerstin Ergenzinger and the Sono-Choreographic Collective in collaboration with Tobias Grewenig and the Permafrost research group led by Julia Boike at Alfred-Wegener-Institut Potsdam.

Funded and supported by HIDA-Helmholtz, AWI Potsdam,the Academy for Theater and Digitality Dortmund and Wilo foundation
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