Rachel Rozanski PERMA

About half of Canada is permafrost, and it’s thawing almost a century earlier than predicted. It is the foundation of Arctic ecosystems, and in the last ten years thawing and “permafrost slumps’’ have started to dramatically change the landscape. This multimedia exhibit investigates how permafrost is being transformed in the Anthropocene era, from the direct effects of small-scale mining to the results of large-scale global climate change. Through video, scanner-generated images of collected samples, and large-scale drawings, this work shows some of the world’s oldest permafrost, in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, eroding, thawing, and tailing into newly-created rivers, drained lakes, and eventually the sea

Following the Dempster Highway to the Arctic Ocean, PERMA documents land cavities revealing thousands of years’ worth of history, exposing prehistoric materials previously preserved in ground-ice, and the altered spaces left behind. These cavities release fossils, bacteria, oil, heavy metals, organic matter, and gasses as they transform into dripping craters. Rozanski’s artistic research developed through creative practice and discourse with scientists and Indigenous land-based researchers. Through residency projects in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Iceland, she has collaborated with researchers and been inspired by the study of land change, pollutants, adaptations, and extinctions.

Curated by Katy McCormick