Wondrous Cold

Penguins and dinosaurs, together at last! The former are photographed by Joan Myers in the traveling Smithsonian show "Wondrous Cold: An Antarctic Journey," and the latter are represented by fossils that UW researchers have added to the exhibition. Myers actually emphasizes the landscape over the adorable birds, and the frozen terrain is more diverse than you might think. (The famous Dry Valleys resemble Arizona deserts.) And she shows the human traces on the frozen continent, including old bases used by explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Scott. McMurdo Station is like an ugly assemblage of Wal-Mart stores, and Myers also finds some lingering damage from the 1982 Falklands War. Human heroism and folly are preserved forever in the ice. But Antarctica wasn’t always icy: We also see petrified wood from its jungle days, and the dinosaur bones collected by the UW’s Christian Sidor and other paleontologists. Composer Cheryl Leonard has created a companion an audio collage for the exhibit, which she recorded among the ice floes. And, yes, penguins. BRIAN MILLER

Oct. 3-Nov. 29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2009

 
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