Foto: Jiabao Li

Glacier’s Lament

Jiabao Li


Glaciers are sentinels of climate change. They are the most visible evidence of global warming today. This series of works embodies the stunning beauty, rapid change, fragility, and magnificence of glaciers.

In Glacier’s Lament, we used data from glacier melting in the past 60 years to compose music and dance with local musicians who have witnessed the recession of the Mendenhall glacier over their lifetimes. We filmed the artists performing the piece on the glacier, in collaboration with the glacier’s own sounds.

As glaciers are disappearing, the unique blue is also disappearing. The color in the hanging tube was sampled with melted glacier rivers by the artist from glaciers in Alaska. When one glacier calving happens in the world, one tube falls. At the end of the exhibition, all 60 tubes fell, forming a painting on the canvas beneath.

In Reflect on Glaciers, we created a one-day-long installation with mirrors reflecting the glaciers from the river that they disappeared into. As if they were saying: “This was me.” Placing the mirror on the glacier, facing the lake: “This is my future.” They challenge the audience with the dramatic, irreversible ecological damages from climate change.


Glacier’s Lament by Jiabao Li
Dance video: Artist and director: Jiabao Li
Team: Cooper Galvin, Ryan Cortes Perez, Anouk Otsea, Lindsay Clark, James Cheng

Jiabao Li (CN) works across nature, humans’ designed environment, and belief structures and creates works addressing climate change, humane technology, and a just, sustainable future. Her mediums include wearable, robot, AR/VR, projection, performance, and installation. Jiabao’s TED Talk reveals how technology frames reality. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including IF, NEA, Fast Company, Core77, and AACYF 30 Under 30. Her work has been exhibited in Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH, Milan and Dubai Design Week, ISEA, and Donghu Shan Museum. She graduated from Harvard University with Distinction.