Susan Schuppli

Satellite image over Cdn Arctic

In Ice Cores, artist Susan Schuppli documents the activities of scientists who work with ice core samples extracted from frozen environments around the world. By actively engaging in practices of listening and learning from ice, Schuppli shows how ice cores are some of the most convincing earth evidence and material witnesses to climate change.

Ice Cores is the first in a series of documentary films and part of the long-term research project Learning from Ice. The film captures scientific activities in Canada and the US, where detailed analysis of extracted ice core samples are used by scientists seeking to build and refine global climate models. Developing ways of looking and listening to ice is central to Schuppli’s research. In Ice Cores, the film’s augmented soundtrack reflects a sonic, near-forensic access to the ice itself. Schuppli’s film offers an invitation to expand our ways of recording and listening, and by taking up this invitation to consider what ice might say and what it might whisper urgently.


Susan Schuppli is a researcher and artist based in the UK whose work examines material evidence from war and conflict to environmental disasters and climate change. She has published widely within the context of media and politics, and is author of the recent book Material Witness, which was published by MIT Press.