Final Abstract

The need to engage the public with accurate information about climate change is urgent. Antarctica has become the focus of research for scientists and artists who seek to understand the complex forces at work. Different perceptions of Antarctica are surveyed. These perceptions are expressed as data sets, art works, dances, words, tones of voice, and gestures. An iconography of primal gestural forms is identified that has been used since pre-history to make visible expressions of connection to the natural world.

The primary research methodology is practice-based. Interviews with expeditioners, online responses, and improvised movement workshops are used as sources for animations and art works. Animated forms arise from circling, spiraling, and crossing gestures. These ancient choreographies describe the dynamic structures that shape the Antarctic ecosystem and reflect structures within the body through which they are generated.

Animations are presented at international conferences and exhibitions of Antarctic arts and sciences. An online log is used to display the animations and invite responses. The responses are evaluated. Archetypal gestural forms are found to expand the meaning of climate change data. Recognition of these primal forms (as body knowledge) is found to add a dimension of meaning to scientific information that is an essential component of accurate communication.