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Credit: Gil Delindro

Adam Basanta (CA), Gil Delindro (PT/DE)

Developed as a first collaboration, this media installation has its central focus on the geologic concept of Permafrost, a ground layer of frozen sediment, rock and soil that covers much of the northern hemisphere. Within this layer, several organisms, methane and bacteria have been dormant in time for thousands of years.

Much of the permafrost is undisturbed by bacterial decomposition, but in the rapidly warming Arctic, several layers have been decomposing, creating “biological feedback”—the liberation and movement of these layers are themselves contributing to accelerated warming, as huge quantities of trapped methane are released into the atmosphere.

In this project, freezing is a conceptual and tech method for “holding” mater in time, a representation of a clock, where several different blocks of frozen earth are suspended in the space. As the fragmentation begins, detritus continuously falls, crashing into a structure prepared with microphones, sensors and speaker cones. This platform works as a receptive sonic field, using code data to interplay with the impact, time, mass and displacement of the defrosted earth. As the piece evolves the matter accumulates, generating not only a random sculptural disposition, but unpredictable interactions with the speaker cones, their oscillations and sonic response. Permafrost departs from the present observation of our “contemporary natural vs. unnatural cycles.” Within a moving landscape of unstable organisms, the whole piece keeps playing in a semi-controlled system, confronting the time of geological processes with the acceleration of digital technology.


This piece was awarded an ENCAC grant for the production of a new groundbreaking audiovisual installation. Developed in June 2017 during a residency at LAboral Centro de arte as a first collaboration between the artists Gil Delindro and Adam Basanta.