Artist Statement for Mountain Film on Tour, at the Throckmorton Theatre, November 2012.
I’ve got some sobering news… The ice is going to melt.
At the time of my daughter’s birth in 2000, the scientific forecast was that the polar ice cap would disappear by the time she reached her grandmother’s age. While climate crisis activists were running around betting on the naive long odds that a “solution” that will somehow “stop” this, I found myself more compelled by the urgency of witnessing and discovering meaning in this profound event. Why run around calling people to bail the Titanic with teacups at the expense of being present for the last breaths of the glaciers’ deflation? In the midst of all the focus on “the survival of our species,” who will cry for ice? Who will hold its hand to capture the twinkle in its eye before it closes? What stories, wisdom and qualities will go extinct with the last drips of the mountain glaciers older than civilization itself? What is the proper response to this grand aesthetic and spiritual loss? Meanwhile, how will humanity evolve through the crisis? Why are we alive on the planet during an induced geologic event? It’s a pretty exciting time to live a life. How does an individual or a species cultivate the paradoxical state of enthusiatic excited despair? I couldn’t help but decide to devote the remainder of my career to these compelling questions. But as urgent as the questions are, they are also metaphysical and abstract, which, well, brings us to art. Ice is quite simply the obvious medium for a climate artist.
So, here’s the good news… Ice is cool. And ice on metal…even cooler. Take a moment to unburden it from the profound questions. Be fascinated. Enjoy its meditative pace. Pet it. Watch it dance with light. Put it in your pocket, and go flying with it in your dreams.
— Carter Brooks
MountainFilm on Tour
Mill Valley, CA