Common Grounds

Common Grounds is an ongoing artistic-scientific, collaborative project exploring methods for listening, sensing and understanding climate change from an embedded perspective by taking novel approaches for performative sonifications of data through the theatrical apparatus.

more information please visit project WIKI

The circumpolar region of the arctic is the fastest warming place on earth. While finally acknowledged by the public, and already felt as more frequent extreme weather events, the topic of climate change still remains difficult to engage with or talk about. Operating on a spatial and temporal scale much larger and slower than one we could percieve, it is for many just an inaccessible, looming threat.

Using the theater apparatus as a focused environment, the first experimental installation and realisation of Common Grounds is a sound and light installation that establishes a common ground for listening. Translating the arctic’s weather and climate into sound, it allows access to this phenomena through a physical and sensorial musical experience, opening up a special listening perspective.

During the Open Lab in June 2022 of the Academy for Theater and Digitality, an artificial sonic environment plays through a dataset of 20 years of hourly weather measurements, recorded at N 78° in the Svalbard archipelago, Norway. This data is rendered audible through various sonification methods we developed, forming a polyphonic ‘choir’ that compresses these 20 years into a single hour loop. Inside this environment visitors are offered a map, connected to an audio guide that will help them navigate the different stations and sounds.

Collaboration Research Sound / 2022 ongoing

Common Grounds is an  artistic scientific project and is being developed by Kerstin Ergenzinger and Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari of the Sono-Choreographic Collective in collaboration with Tobias Grewenig and the Permafrost research group led by Julia Boike at Alfred-Wegener-Institut Potsdam.


Supported by the HIDA X ATD fellowship of the Academy for Theater and Digitally,  the HIDA Helmholtz Information and Data Science Academy and the the wilo foundation, by the Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung AWI and by a NEUSTART_Stipendium of the STIFTUNG KUNSTFONDS