MILLENIUM JUICE: when a millenary water inclusion met the scientists breath—By Flavia Parone
Spending time in the lab of researcher Jenny Maccali at the Earth Sciences Department, University of Bergen, I discovered the process of speleothems analysis. Speleothems are mineral deposits formed in ancient caves by dripping water. Sometimes, a small amount of water will get stuck in the stalagmite. It will stay constrained in its liquid form in this cavity for thousands of years, until the moment when, for example, a scientist decides to remove the stalagmite host and the drop with it.
Microsecond by microsecond, for millenia, the constant dropping process will have registered the most minute change in the climate. By extracting it, scientists will learn about the climate of the past.
To extract the precious millenium juice, the speleothems first have to be crushed in the lab, by which the water evaporates. The vapor is then analysed. These precious drops give us the average temperature and amount of rain of the period it was dropping in the cave.
After the science experiment is completed, this millennium water goes to 'waste' as it will end up evaporating in the room, mixing with the ambient humidity, composed of outside humidity but also of the scientist breath. ln the same lab, there is a cold azot box that attracts all the humidity of the room freezing it on the top of the azot box. As an artist, I took advantage of this circular process, collecting this precious water that now also registered the scientists presence on it.
Millenium juice installation: Video, Petri box, Container, Water (mix of millenium water inclusion and scientists' breath).
A numb drop stuck for thousand years in a microcavity
Giving the information she kept, she frees herself
No more a messenger of the past, she evaporates, mixes with her liberator's breath,
and joins again the circular dance