This artwork is displayed in exhibition OutLook in Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA)


Sound recordings from three glaciers in Iceland, pressed into three records, cast, and frozen with the meltwater from each of these glaciers, and played on three turntables until they completely melt. The records were played once and now exist as three digital films. The turntables begin playing together, and for the first ten minutes as the needles trace their way around, the sounds from each glacier merge in and out with the sounds the ice creates itself. The needle caught on the last loop, and the records played for nearly two hours, till they completely melted.


Just as the banal light bulb and mobile telephone harbor weighty notions of life and death, distance and connectivity, the ordinary record players in Langjökull, Snæfellsjökull, Solheimajökull (2007) release associations of a remote and sublime landscape. Water collected from Icelandic glaciers has been made into frozen records and pressed with a sound recording of the water trickling and gushing in situ. The records contain the promise of fidelity, but when they’re played, their crystalline surface interferes with the recorded sound so that we hear both the distant melting glacier and the grooved ice before us, rather like a painting on the cusp between figuration and abstraction.


Langjökull, Snæfellsjökull, Solheimajökull is presented as a three-channel video installation that concentrates on divergent time frames – the human time of the journey to the glacier and the geological time of its ancient presence – into a two-hour period over which the records play and melt. Paterson’s themes are immense, and her processes ambitiously connective, yet she wields a sensibility that preserves the human poetics of grandeur without buckling under its metaphysical weight.