Thesis Info

Thesis Title
CRYOSPHERE: Frozen in Time
Christopher ivins
2nd Author
3rd Author
Master of Fine Arts
Number of Pages
University of California, Santa Cruz
Thesis Supervisor
Elliot W. Anderson
Supervisor e-mail
ewanders AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Jeffrey Bury, David Dunn, Angus G. Forbes, Newton Harrison, Jennifer Parker
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Digital Arts and New Media
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
Alaska, Antarctic, Arctic, Cryosphere, Glacier, Ice sheet
Abstract: 200-500 words
Before strapping crampons to my cold weather boots, I pulled out the waterproof film camera I purchased a few weeks earlier in Hong Kong, to photograph my platoon on the towering ice bridge above. The cave was a remnant of a moulin at the terminus of Gulkana Glacier, Alaska, where two soldiers died the previous year. I used my first 35MM camera to capture the image of the first glacier I ever climbed. Thirty years later that photograph was printed and hung for the Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition, Interstices, at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as part of the exhibit, CRYOSPHERE: Frozen in Time. The University of Utah Department of Military Science sent me to the United States Army Northern Warfare Training Center the same summer the Department of Modern Dance sent me on a dance tour of Asia. My major was modern dance, and my minor was military science. That summer in 1988 I found myself studying time, space and energy of modern dance, and imaging the cryosphere in military science. Just as Eadweard Muybridge and Ansel Adams captured single frame black and white photographs of glaciers in Yosemite and the Teton Mountains from the 1860’s and 1910’s, I have captured images of glaciers from 1988. CRYOSPHERE: Frozen in Time presents still and moving images, narrated by letters written to a past self, to articulate the encounter between the half-century-old artist and the two-and-a-half-million year old cryosphere, the solid water of Earth. Glaciers advance and recede. Memories of three short decades fast forward and rewind in funerary remembrance. The memoriam shows viewers an intimate, one-sided glimpse of love lost to a changing landscape. The three-screen installation offers a meditative space for considering ice sheets — now vanishing on a human time scale — and allows viewers to contemplate the coinciding deaths of humans and the cryosphere.