18,000 years ago, a shear 2,000-foot wall of ice, the leading edge of a vast glacier, charged down the Hudson Valley before coming to a stop in what is now Brooklyn, bisecting the borough and burying all that lay to the north. Its arrival marked the apex of the last ice age and the beginning of the glacier’s northward retreat, a turning point that formed the hilly ridge line that runs from Orient Point to Dyker Heights, passing right through today’s Botanic Garden.
As they take root in the rocky soil left behind by the ice, the Garden’s young trees are living through yet another inflection point for Earth’s climate—they will need to adapt to a new and uncertain future as industrial carbon emissions precipitate the demise of the last glaciers around the world. In Terminal Moraine, sounds of tree growth and ice recession are simulated by algorithms; cell structures expand and branch with an element of uncertainty while crystal formations gradually break apart. The resulting sonic dialog expresses change on the border between the deep history of this place and whatever comes next.