Pablo Diserens: Ebbing Ice Lines of the Low Arctic
Ebbing Ice Lines of the Low Arctic is a 4-channel sound installation that investigates the soundscape of the Low Arctic’s melting zones and the life they foster. By weaving glacial gurgles, thawing squeals, avian vocalizations, hydrophonic acoustics, and site-specific hums, the composition sheds light on the minute sounds produced by these environments as they retreat under warming climates. Recorded in Iceland and Finland, these animal and melting voices tell a story of disappearance. The title plays with the existing tree line terminology—the edge past which trees do not grow—to imagine ebbing lines beyond which ice can not exist.
As they snake across latitudes, these lineations form vulnerable ecotones, gateways towards polar crystalline waters, ramparts teeming with sounds. Here, enveloped by terns’ shrills and rock ptarmigans’ clucks, the ice exudes peculiar guttural sounds. It squeals as its prismatic contours rub against one another, echoing the animated nature of its jumbled body. It growls as it releases strings of air trapped beneath glacial skin for hundreds of years. As the bubbles murmur and swim towards the surface, the Earth’s old atmosphere carries its history back into the winds. Ice is a vast expanse of earthly memory, a trickling archive spreading over eons. Far from forming sessile architectures, this planetary reservoir is in constant flux, in perpetual momentum, withdrawing from the globe in acoustic multitudes. Frozen drifts, azure crevasses, glacial streams, dripping crests, and gapping moulins all vibrate with ebullient tongues—a voice of some sort, a gestural diversity, which images hardly convey. Yet if we listen, glaciers and thaws bristle with sonic vibrance—a discreet phenomenon that speaks volume.
Pablo Diserens (they/she) is a field recordist, musician, filmmaker, and artist devoted to attentive listening, non-human realities, and possible forms of interspecies coexistence. Rooted in ecological engagement and site-specificity, they investigate gestures of presence through a weaving of sound, images and texts. These bring to the foreground the acoustic, bio- and geological features of explored environments with the intention of fostering earthly connections. Works materialize in various forms that emphasize listening as a radical, political practice, and flirt with a myriad of (sur)realities, found hummings, and ecoacoustic phenomena. Propositions that operate within polymorphic ways of inhabiting and shapeshifting among non-human bodies. In solidarity with a wounded planet, Diserens’ practice invites people to attune to the present in an attempt at rethinking caring strategies and our relationship with the world and its biotic communities.
Pablo has published works with TBA21-Academy, Audio Visuals Astmosphere, Presque Tout, and forms of minutiae, and has been featured in The Wire Magazine, Sound of the Years Awards (2022), A Closer Listen, Bandcamp Best of Field Recordings, and BBC Radio 4's PM program with Matthew Herbert. They have performed or exhibited their work in Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; TBA21-Academy’s Ocean-Archive; and in Berlin’s spaces such as MONOM; Morphine Raum; Haus am Kleitspark; Hošek Contemporary; and arkaoda.