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A Pinch of Light

Ximena Aguilar Vega . Andrea Martínez

Mónica Nepote . Liliana Zaragoza Cano 


Pierre Dugowson . Silja Zimmermann . Elsa Ávila . Wenceslas Marie-Sainte

Lungi Mchunu . Hélène Dubrasquet . Salvador Rodríguez . Laurence Fischer

Barthelemy Antoine Loeff . Celine Hanzen . Blanda Matzenbacher

Zoar Martínez .  Edgardo Casanova . Martha Riva Palacio . Franco Catuogno

Thea Schneider . Nina Adjanin . Cintia Durán .  Lucas de la Maza

Diana Beltrán . Mauricio González Díaz . Sandra Guzán . Allison Cusick



Cryosphere Pavilion | COP27

Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

14. 11.  2022

A Pinch of Light is an art exhibition where science, photography and poetry meet. The essence of the artwork is the minimum details and the minimalistic beauty of polar and sub-polar regions uncovered by light.  The eye of the beholder, a Mexican glaciologist, aims to provoke a reflection on our experience as virtual and non-virtual visitors of glaciated landscapes. Are we mere spectators of what light, of what the white noise reveals? Are we just distant narrators of the messages, the voices and conversations that unfold -clearly to our human eyes- in the form of body language: retreating glaciers, breaking ice sheets, weakening sea ice, a darkening Cryosphere?

Are human voices entirely distant from the sound of glaciers, snow, ice, and the cold ocean? Could humans learn the language of ice, water, wind and rocks? 

Are we listening?

A Pinch of Light
A Chorus of Voices

We are a group of bodies and voices. Voices that emerge from our scientific and artistic knowledge. We are lovers of that which we call nature, that which is not a world apart from our spaces of lived experience. We respond to a call that polar scientist Ximena Aguilar Vega offers us. From the site of our bodies we hear the sound of the wind moving through bodies of ice. We accept her invitation to think alongside glaciers, as a way to make possible important conversations that we want to see happen. We are aware that the efforts made by polar science are enormous: measurements, technological development, listening and interpreting of data that transform into a warning that might alert us. Ximena's invitation through these images —distant landscapes for most of the inhabitants of the planet— is to ask ourselves questions that matter. Polar bodies, the Arctic, the Antarctic, and sub-polar zones are experiencing loss. Day in and day out, polar scientists perceive the scripts of melting that result from a rise in temperatures across the planet. We know this makes us continually use the word urgency, and that perception of this urgency is important. But what we propose here is to go a step further, to pay attention to such voices, to what they want to tell us. What languages should we use to decipher these messages? Beyond the techniques that polar science offers us, we believe we need to think about these landscapes as spaces that, in many ways, have marked our ways of being in the world. However distant these spaces may seem to us, the stability or instability of the poles affect our continental lives. We know well that on this planet a series of circuits connect us. Icy winds mark our geologies; but how might we learn to recognize that perhaps the way in which the wind passes through bodies of ice is precisely the way, the same way, in which the wind travels through our respiratory system. The air that shaped our lungs, our vocal cords, is the same wind that sculpts the earth that houses us. It is time to recognize our own shape in these enormous forms, and pay attention to their language. Alongside Ximena, we ask again: what languages should we use to approach and listen to the messages of these polar bodies? How to situate ourselves continuously in an exercise of listening to these expansions that emerge in front of us. That other, human and non-human, that looks like me and is at the same time profoundly different? What do we achieve by expanding our vocal sounds? Will we be able to infect, in the best of senses, this collective form of being in the face of sounds that clarify the fissures of these traces of light? Might we think that perhaps this is a step towards recovering hope? Artists, scientists and mountaineers from different parts of the world participate in this exhibition. They lend us their capacity for listening and their bodies to show us glacial sound. We invite you to join this collective voice. We invite you to become part of this collective thought process that seeks to create languages of hope. Pensar como un glaciar Think like a glacier El sonido del agua sutil se desprende del cuerpo de hielo The sound of subtle water unhinging from the body of ice Escuchar el viento Listen to the wind Respirar la esperanza Breath hope

Mónica Nepote
translated by Marina Azahua

A pinch of light

Just a pinch of light

to enlighten

our soul

our spirit

our hope


to picture 

a sustainable future

better days for all

hope for all

life for all


Jut a pinch of light

to recognize our dreams

our flesh on the other

on glaciers

on the sea

on the trees

Just a pinch of light

and the ice 

will return

water will run


hand in hand 

all over

the world


By Ximena A Vega

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