The world premiere for the telematic opera Auksalaq, which was created by artists in the Tavel Center at IUPUI and at the University of Virginia occurred on October 29th, and was performed simultaneously between the University of Alaska Museum of the North, Tavel Center at IUPUI, CIRMMT at McGill University in Montreal, Grieg Academy of Music in Bergen Norway, and the OpenGrounds Studio at the University of Virginia. Performance groups included Bit20 (Norway), Bergen Center for Electronic Arts (BEK, Norway), Ensemble Knox (USA), McGill Percussion Ensemble (Canada), EcoSono Ensemble (USA), and Telematic Collective (USA). An interactive audience-participation software called NOMADS enabled engagement with the performance in real-time across all the stages. Audience members at the concert locations were able to use their laptop computers and mobile devices in order to participate in the performance in real time.
Auksalaq, the Inupiat word for “melting snow/ice”, provides an in-depth journey into the vast and remote, yet rapidly changing arctic regions of Alaska and Canada. Created by composer Matthew Burtner and producer/media artist Scott Deal, the work integrates artistic expression, scientific information, and social/political commentary into an interactive, multi-dimensional collection of narratives that provide a stirring and sobering commentary on the transformation of the Far North as a result of global climate change.
In October 2011, Internet2, the nation’s most advanced networking consortium, presented the Internet2 Driving Exemplary Applications (IDEA) Award to Scott Deal and Matthew Burtner for their creation of Auksalaq, which was described as “the single best and most important realization of meaningful opera for today’s world”. For more information about the opera, please visit http://auksalaq.org/