Chicago Art Installation Mimics Trillion-Ton Broken-Off Antarctic Iceberg

A vast iceberg with twice the volume of Lake Erie has broken off from a key floating ice shelf in Antarctica, scientists said Wednesday July 12, 2017.
A vast iceberg with twice the volume of Lake Erie has broken off from a key floating ice shelf in Antarctica, scientists said Wednesday July 12, 2017. John Sonntag/NASA via AP
A vast iceberg with twice the volume of Lake Erie has broken off from a key floating ice shelf in Antarctica, scientists said Wednesday July 12, 2017.
A vast iceberg with twice the volume of Lake Erie has broken off from a key floating ice shelf in Antarctica, scientists said Wednesday July 12, 2017. John Sonntag/NASA via AP

Chicago Art Installation Mimics Trillion-Ton Broken-Off Antarctic Iceberg

In July 2017, a trillion-ton iceberg (A68) broke off from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf. Satellite imagery revealed the 120-mile crack as the third largest such event ever recorded. The iceberg’s volume could fill Lake Erie, at least twice. “White Wanderer: A Climate Change Soundtrack” is a new public art installation along the Chicago River. The display features a giant “crack” in the façade of the Two Riverside Plaza building to mirror the Larsen C crack. It also produces a continuous soundtrack accompaniment, based on seismic recordings from actual icebergs, by University of Chicago glaciologist, Doug MacAyeal. 

Artistic duo Luftwerk created the exhibit to draw attention to issues like climate change and its effect on melting glaciers — vital to humanity’s survival. Petra Bachmaier of Luftwerk is joined by MacAyeal to talk about the exhibition, climate change, carbon emissions, and the dissipating ice caps.