Hyperthermia: A Cold Climate Symposium

Hyperthermia: a symposium focused on the eco-acoustic and social transformations occurring in cold climate ecologies.

This symposium is presented by the Cold Climate Research Lab in association with the AEGIS research network and focuses on the eco-acoustic and social transformations occurring in cold climate ecologies. Invited speakers will present art works and field observations made in northern Hokkaido, and the Swiss and German Alps focusing on the effects of global warming and the systems and strategies they use to interrogate its consequences. Projects such as these provide compelling new experiences that advocate for the preservation of places seldom seen or heard, yet central to the health and wellbeing of our planet. 

Chair: Philip Samartzis

Invited speakers: Alan Alpenfelt, Yoichi Kamimura and Annika Lems

Alan Alpenfelt is a Swiss/British theatre, radio and music producer / artist living in Mendrisio, Switzerland. His recent project Binaural Views of Switzerland is an audio-visual observation of the changes caused by human activity in the Swiss Landscape since 1863, when the pioneering British photographer William England made his Grand Tour of Switzerland, creating stunning stereoscopic photographs of over 150 locations. Alan spent two months rediscovering 30 of these locations, documenting the changes in their aspects and atmospheres using binuaral sound recording and 3D photography. His work highlights the stark contrasts between past and present by immersing the visitor in the sights and sounds of each environment, then and now.

Yoichi Kamimura is a Japanese artist who explores the relationship between sound and vision, and through this process creates an experience in which hearing and seeing affect one another. He is interested in relationships between sound and scenery, as well as the various ways people perceive past, present, and future through the cultural and religious lenses of different parts of the world. Gathering and rearranging the sounds around us, he uses the act of listening to shake up our perceptions of time and place. Yoichi’s recent solo show Hyperthermia presented at the NTT Intercommunication Centre in Tokyo focused on the changing cold climate ecology of northern Hokkaido.

Annika Lems is a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, and heads the independent research group Alpine Histories of Global Change: Time, Self and the Other in the German-Speaking Alpine Region. In the project Annika examines the role of local, everyday engagements with history in social processes of inclusion and exclusion. The project extends her interest in placemaking practices to the field of history and has a close look at the links between lived temporality, place attachment and alienation. It plays into my long-standing scholarly interest in the question of how people experience and make sense of the tensions and paradoxes of globalisation in their everyday lives.

Hyperthermia is presented by the Cold Climate Research Lab, in association with AEGIS: Art + Ecologies Research Network, and the Contemporary Art and Social Transformation (CAST) research group at the School of Art, RMIT University.


Banner image credit: 'Sea of Ice' by Philip Samartzis


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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer