Paul Walde listens to the sound of the tide underneath the ice on the Kuskokwim River
Paul Walde is an intermedia artist, composer, and curator from Victoria, British Columbia. Walde’s body of work suggests unexpected interconnections between landscape, identity, and technology and includes painting, photography, printmaking, video, installation, and audio. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions in Canada and the US.
Walde’s first Polar Lab research trip took place in February 2015. He planned to go to the village of Newtok on the western coast of Alaska with photographer Brian Adams, but weather grounded the plane during a stopover in Bethel, Alaska. Not to be deterred, the two photographed Bethel and took a ride in a truck up the Kuskokwim River, which Walde described as a “three-lane highway” in winter. They were able to travel by frozen river to the village of Napaskiak.
Upon his return, Walde hiked the Matanuska Glacier, about an hour north of Alaska, with photographer Michael Conti. The two also explored old bars and haunts along the route from Anchorage to Palmer, scouting locations where Walde might recreate a classic rural setting in which to hold an operatic performance.