presenting the antarctic space
Today we observe depictions of the Antarctic as melting ice shelves, the tipping of glacial balances, and rising seas. We maintain a fascination with the polar south, as our exploration has shifted from ships like the Endurance of Ernest Shackleton to ubiquitous web media, data visuals, and icebreaker cruises for tourists. It is this space in Antarctica that’s often portrayed as distant, other-worldly, uninhabitable, nation-less, and undeveloped, yet, distinguished by science, natural splendor, and heroism. Antarctica is a space that began in our collective culture as a set of cartographic reductions; a place unknown, yet imagined, and mapped since the time of the Greeks. As our media and technology shifted, this space transformed between the spectacular in films and photographs, to the evocative in scale via the culture of science and data.
In the installation and series, Untitled Antarctica, seismic images and data collected beneath the ice and the Antarctic seas are presented in two generative video sculptures, a multichannel sound piece, and still images. Machined out of fiberboard using Amundsen submarine data with computer numeric control technology, Amundsen’s Wall, the first video sculpture, is a series of sloping geometric additions to existing walls. The elevation values of the same Amundsen underwater terrain are also used for the sound in the installation, in generative iterations. Made out of glass, Ice Gouge, the second video sculpture, evokes the glaciers that gouge, and their asymmetrical form as they decay over time into water. The scales of the glass pieces are intuitive reactions to data and research.