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Handmade paper, typewritten text, monotype and relief prints
6″ x 24″ x 4″

Particulate History, a double accordion featuring polar imagery and visual poetry, was inspired by the scientific method of harvesting historical climate data from the earth’s glaciers by drilling and extracting long frozen cylinders called ice cores. Air pollution, volcanic glass shards, greenhouse gases, and industrial chemicals circulate across the planet and become trapped within air bubbles in the ice, preserving samples of the earth’s atmosphere over hundreds and thousands of years. Scientists can travel back in time by studying these layers of frozen time, allowing them to measure and date volcanic eruptions, rising CO2 emissions, temperature fluctuations, and even fallout from thermonuclear bombs. I learned about ice cores when researching for my first trip to Antarctica and quickly became fascinated by their physical embodiment of time and knowledge. As I crunched my boots across deep snowfall, I couldn’t help thinking about the history below my feet.

– Rachel Simmons, Orlando, FL

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