Navigating residencies: The making of Glacier Trilogy with Theresa Schubert

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In this interview Theresa Schubert a Berlin-based artist discusses her “Glacier trilogy”, a three-piece work that explores the transformation of glaciers in the face of climate change. The Glacier trilogy, which is the outcome from S+T+ARTS 4 WATER artist residency. The interview explores the creative processes behind the making of the trilogy, including working with generative AI and with a glassblower.

Listen to this podcast to learn about

  • Insights into using art to comment on and bring awareness to global environmental issues like climate change through thematic focus and material choice.
  • The importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration, working with experts from different fields to enrich art projects, enhance their execution, and broaden their impact.
  • The creative application of generative AI.
  • The value of artist residencies in providing unique opportunities for research exploration, and collaboration.  
  • Practical advice on making the most out of residency programs.


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  • (0:01:41) Theresa describes the Glacier trilogy as a three-piece work that explores glaciers and their transformation in the current climate crisis.

  • (0:02:42) Theresa explains the first part of the trilogy, which includes a sound composition and a projection of synthetic glacier formation videos.
  • (0:04:17) Theresa discusses the second part of the trilogy, which features glass vessels containing ice core melt water from glaciers, emphasising the fragility of the environment.
  • (0:05:57) Theresa talks about the third part of the trilogy, a video sculpture that simulates glacial fluid systems and includes CO2 sensors that affect the simulation based on the presence of people in the exhibition space.
  • (0:08:20) Theresa explains the importance of the topic of climate change and the role of art in bringing it to a wider audience through experiential and reflective approaches.
  • (0:10:19) Theresa discusses her intention to create a direct engagement with the audience through the use of real water in the glass sculptures. 
  • (0:13:10) Theresa explains that she didn’t have specific ideas initially but was inspired by various inputs during the residency, including visiting an archive and translating the diaries of an Italian glaciologist.
  • (0:16:20) Theresa discusses the difference between working with simulations of natural phenomena and using generative AI models for visual or text-based outputs.
  • (0:18:03) The excitement of AI’s unpredictability and variation.
  • (0:20:25) Collaborations in each piece brought different processes and experiences.
  • (0:21:06) Working with a glass blower for the first time.
  • (0:22:48 Researching and collaborating with scientists and experts.
  • (0:23:41) Contrasting physical work with materials and computer coding.
  • (0:24:54) Differences in physicality and bodily experiences between glass blowing and computer work.
  • (0:28:46) Establishing lasting connections and relationships after the residency.
  • (0:30:02) Advice for artists doing residencies: come with curiosity, network, and find something unique to the location.

About Theresa Schubert

Theresa Schubert, operating at the confluence of alchemy and science fiction, is a visionary Berlin-based artist, researcher, and curator whose work interrogates anthropocentrism while fostering alternative visions and sensory experiences. With a PhD from Bauhaus-University Weimar, her work spans installations and performances that incorporate living organisms and AI, questioning the nature-culture divide in our digital age. Schubert's projects, recognized globally with awards from prestigious entities like the Japan Media Arts Festival and Prix Ars Electronica, engage deeply with environmental and ethical themes. As a curator and educator, she extends her inquiry into the unconventional, advocating for a harmonious intertwining of technology, art, and the natural world. 

Takeaways from this interview with Theresa Schubert  

Description and impact

"The Glacier Trilogy investigates glaciers in the climate crisis, using AI generated video, glass sculptures, and a video sculpture to offer an immersive look at environmental fragility."

Art amplifying climate conversation

" giving a different access to [climate change] topics than...a newspaper article or a science paper."

Theresa asserts that art has a unique ability to engage broader audiences in climate change discussions, making complex issues more accessible and emotionally resonant.

Unpredictability when working with generative AI

"With generative AI...there’s this moment of surprise, you don’t know exactly what the machine will output.”   

Cross-disciplinary collaboration's value

"Collaborations...played a significant role in creating the Trilogy, involving a glass blower, a programmer, and glaciologists."

Theresa’s  work exemplifies how collaborating across fields can enhance the depth and impact of art, especially when addressing complex themes like climate change.

Advice on artist residencies

"Come with curiosity and an open find what’s special about the location."

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