Glaciers scour the earth as they slowly advance and retreat often leaving behind deep glacial grooves.
In this project I embody a glacier to scribe a single line into a slab of quartz limestone using a hand-tool and a process that resembles handwork in carpentry. I performed the outdoor series on Ohio State Route 20, a long linear place formed by a glacier that pushed a clay called glacial till into a ridge that runs across the top of Ohio.
The pictures in this post are from the second cycle, but here's a video from the third cycle in which the grinding sound of granite, ice, and limestone resonate and increase in volume and intensity as the ice block melts under pressure and fiction. The force and weight of the moving body translate into the groove marked by the cutting tool much in the same way that line weight of a pencil line is determined by the pressure and force of the hand making the mark.
Cycle III takes place at a site of ancient glacial activity, an abandoned limestone quarry on a tiny island in Lake Erie, a quarry that destroyed most of the 40,000 year old glacial grooves that ran through the area. I performed this third cycle atop the edge of a massive quarry step, and in the same orientation as the direction of travel for the Wisconsin glacial sheet that advanced and retreated, scouring the limestone bedrock with Canadian granite.
The block of ice is a consumable cutting tool and each block takes 20 minutes of non-stop motion to use up before a new block is fitted into the tool. Three chunks of granite and gneiss are embedded into the ice much the same way that glaciers would pick up boulders which became cutting tools during their back and forth advance and retreat.