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Research / Practice Article

Vol. 17 No. 1 (2024): Drawing Anthropocene

Frozen Futures: Using Glacial Archaeology to Think Through Values of Preservation in Drawing in the Context of Climate Change

18 January 2024


This article uses the context of glacial archaeology as a provocation to drawing. It repurposes Julie Cruikshank’s question ‘Are glaciers good to think with?’ (Cruikshank, 2012) to ask: is glacial archaeology good to think about drawing? It asks what the material intelligence of drawing might offer for articulating precarious balance of absence and presence engendered by the global climate emergency? Conversely, how might thinking through this lens enrich understanding of values of preservation in drawing in the context of the Anthropocene? These questions are approached through a case study of Emergency a drawing research project developed around archaeology studied at Sion History Museum, Switzerland. The research responds to calls to engage methodologies of the arts (Carey et al. 2016) ‘to encompass the moral, spiritual, aesthetic and affective’ dimensions of climate change (Castree et al. 2014). The article begins with the rationale for the research drawing, followed by a summary of the Emergency project, ending with reflection upon the outcomes and wider implications and opportunities for drawing research.