Ice Blink: An Antarctic Essay, 2006

Travelling to Antarctica on RSS Ernest Shackleton from RAF Brize Norton, via Ascension Island and the Falklands, Simon Faithfull recorded the displaced and disorienting world he encountered every day.


After filming the view out of his cabin porthole and creating daily Palm Pilot drawings, transmitted each day to email inboxes around the world, Simon Faithful created Ice Blink: An Antarctic Essay. This is a dispatch from nowhere, exploring the Antarctic as a hole in the imagination by combining Antarctic myths and fictions, histories of colonial endeavour, lifecycles of icebergs and the real effects of global warming, with images of contested and uncharted territories.

Contributers include Le Feuvre and Lisa (ed.). Published as part of Book Works Opus Projects (Opus 6) by Book Works and Arts Catalyst.

Publication details

Ice Blink: An Antarctic Essay
ISBN 978-1-8706999-2-1
Edited by
Published by Book Works with Arts Catalyst, 2006
Designed by James Goggin
Colour and monochrome, 128 pages; soft back
Dimensions 164 x 215mm
Edition of 1,500 copies
£14.50

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Ice Lab, 2013

A publication to accompany the Ice Lab exhibition, with essays by Dr David Walton (British Antarctic Survey, and author of ‘Antarctica: Global Science from a Frozen Continent’), and Sam Jacob (co-founder of FAT architects).


The Ice Lab exhibition presented some of the most innovative and progressive examples of contemporary architecture in Antarctica. The first exhibition of its kind, it drew together projects that not only utilise cutting-edge technology and engineering, but equally considered aesthetics, sustainability and human needs in their ground-breaking designs for research stations.

Initiated by the British Council and curated by Arts Catalyst, the exhibition and publication features four international projects: Halley VI, UK (Hugh Brougton Architects) Princess Elizabeth, Belgium (International Polar Foundation), Bharati, India (bof architekten/IMS), Jang Bogo, South Korea (Space Group), and the Iceberg Living Station (MAP Architects) – a speculative design for a future research station to be entirely made from compacted snow.
 

PUBLICATION DETAILS

Ice Lab
ISBN 978-0-86355-717-0
Edited by Sandra Ross
Published by The British Council, 2013
Designed by OK-RM
Colour and monochrome, 64 pages, softback and electronic

The book is available as an eBook and as PDF for print. Both versions are fully illustrated throughout. The eBook has identical content to the printed version of this publication.
.epub format opens on iphone, ipad, Android phones, Kobo, Sony and Nook readers.
.mobi format for Kindle readers
On iphones and ipads, ibooks is most commonly used, and is free.
On android try the free FBReader if you prefer.
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Ice Diamond and Whistler

New commissions by Torsten Lauschmann for Ice Lab exhibition

Alongside five imaginative designs for Antarctic research stations, Arts Catalyst and British Council have commissioned artist Torsten Lauschmann to make new work for Ice Lab: New Architecture and Science in Antarctica an exhibition that will illustrate how innovative contemporary architecture is enabling scientists to live and work in one of the most extreme environments on our planet.

Torsten Lauschmann's artworks will envelope audiences in a bewitching immersive environment, playfully offering visitors sounds, sights and sensations evoking the disorientating Antarctic landscape. Taking as his inspiration the phenomena of 'whistlers', very low frequency electromagnetic waves recorded in Antarctica, Lauschmann introduces the startling sounds of the frozen continent into the gallery. He extends the experiential atmosphere with a simple yet mesmerising audiovisual journey, Ice Diamond, splicing footage from the British Atlantic Survey research ship James Clark Ross, a vessel that can steam at a steady two knots through sea ice one metre thick, to create a kaleidoscopic vision which he describes as eluding to “the incredible human ingenuity and difficulties in dealing with in this extreme environment.”

Born in Bad Soden, 1970 Lauschmann now lives and works in Glasgow. His idiosyncratic practice using photography, video, sound, drawing, performance and installation is both eccentric and eclectic. Lauschmann merrily experiments with the mathematical, technological and scientific fusing them with comic, fictional, sometimes absurd ideas revealing his boundless curiosity about the World and beyond. From his World Jump Day (2005) participatory performance leap proposed to shift the Earth's orbit, to the intergalactic visions of Father's Monocle and Coy Lover (2012), his art-making explores the real and illusory.

Ice Lab: New Architecture and Science in Antarctica is an international touring exhibition featuring work by Hugh Broughton Architects, bof Architekten, David Garcia, Space Group, International Polar Foundation. It will give visitors a unique view of the inspiration, ingenuity and creativity behind architecture in the coldest, windiest, driest and most isolated place on earth. It opens at Architecture and Design Scotland, The Lighthouse in Glasgow from 26 July-2 October 2013 before touring to Manchester Museum of Science & Industry (21 October-6 January 2014) as part of the Manchester Science Festival.

Events

There will be an associated events programme of talks, workshops and film screenings at both The Lighthouse and at MOSI (TBC)

Publication

Accompanying the exhibition will be a publication with essays written by Dr David Walton (British Antarctic Survey and author of the recent Antarctica: Global Science from a Frozen Continent) and Sam Jab (co-founder of FAT architects, lecturer and writer).

Partners and links

Commissioned and organised by the British Council and curated by Arts Catalyst

Torsten Lauschmann

The Lighthouse

Architecture and Design Scotland

Museum of Science and Industry

We Made That

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Ice Lab: New Architecture and Science in Antarctica

Ice Lab presents some of the most innovative and progressive examples of contemporary architecture in Antarctica. 

The first exhibition of its kind, it will draw together projects that not only utilise cutting-edge technology and engineering, but have equally considered aesthetics, sustainability and human needs in their ground-breaking designs for research stations.

Initiated by the British Council and curated by Arts Catalyst, Ice Lab features four international projects: Halley VI, UK (Hugh Brougton Architects) Princess Elizabeth, Belgium (International Polar Foundation), Bharati, India (bof architekten/IMS), Jang Bogo, South Korea (Space Group), and the Iceberg Living Station (MAP Architects) – a speculative design for a future research station to be entirely made from compacted snow.

The visually rich exhibition also highlights the diverse science that takes place on the frozen continent – from collecting 4.5 billion year old meteorites that illuminate how the solar system was formed to drilling ice cores whose bubbles of ancient air reveal the earth’s climate history; from cutting edge astronomy peering into the world’s clearest skies to studying its Dry Valleys, the closest thing to ‘Mars on Earth’.

Torsten Lauschmann has made two a new audio and light works, 'Whistler' and 'Ice Diamond', in response to a commission from Arts Catalyst especially for the exhibition.  The Glasgow-based artist will create this work in collaboration with ‘We Made That’, the exhibition’s designers.

Drawing on a number of archives and collections Ice Lab will include original drawings, models, photographs, films, ephemera and sources of inspiration for these highly specialised, sci-fi looking infrastructures – the closest thing to future space stations on the Moon and on Mars.

The featured projects are:

British Antarctic Survey’s Halley VI The first fully relocatable polar research station in the world became fully operational in February 2013 and signals a new dawn for 21st Century polar research. Opening 100 years after Captain Scott’s famed Antarctic expeditions, this new state of the art facility, designed by Hugh Broughton Architects and engineered by AECOM (UK) fulfils the UK’s ambition to remain at the forefront of scientific endeavour. Located 10,000 miles from the UK on a floating ice shelf, the new station is designed to be self-sufficient, able to withstand freezing winter temperatures of minus 55ºC, have minimal impact on Antarctica’s pristine environment, and be an aesthetically stimulating place to live and work.

Princess Elisabeth Antarctica
Conceived, designed, constructed and operated by the International Polar Foundation (Belgium), Princess Elisabeth is Antarctica's first zero-emission station. Perched on a nunatuk, 200km from the coast, at an altitude of 1400m, the aerodynamic stainless steel structure can withstand strong Antarctic wind, and is layered so that no form of interior heating is needed. The station seamlessly integrates renewable wind and solar energy, water treatment facilities, passive building technologies and a smart grid for maximising energy efficiency.

Bharati Research Station
India’s third Antarctic research station by bof Architekten / IMS (Germany) is a striking modernist structure made from 134 prefabricated shipping containers. Wrapped in a special aluminium case its extensive glazing offers magnificent panoramic views whilst withstanding powerful winds, below 40 degree Celsius temperatures, blizzards and unfathomable loads.

Jang Bogo
Korea is becoming a significant player in Antarctic research and Jang Bogo, by Space Group (South Korea), will be one of the largest year-round bases on the continent when it opens in 2014. The station’s aerodynamic triple-arm design will provide resistance to the elements and accommodate up to 60 personnel during the busy summer season.

Iceberg Living Station
A speculative design by David Garcia / MAP Architects (Denmark) for a future research station made entirely from ice, Iceberg Living Station negates the need to transport foreign materials to Antarctica. The station will be holed out of a large iceberg, using caterpillar excavators that are traditionally used to clear snow. It will eventually melt, resolving the issue of removing it at the end of its life course.

Publication

Accompanying the exhibition there is a publication with essays written by Dr David Walton (British Antarctic Survey and author of the recent ‘Antarctica: Global Science from a Frozen Continent’) and Sam Jacob (co-founder of FAT architects, lecturer and writer).  This is available in electronic book and print format. 

Partners and links

Commissioned and organised by the British Council and curated by The Arts Catalyst

The Lighthouse

A+DS - Architecture and Design Scotland

MOSI - Museum of Science and Industry

Torsten Lauschmann

We Made That

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Exhibition

Data Landscapes

Exhibition and symposium exploring the use of data and models of climate science within visual  arts contexts.

Data Landscapes explores the use of data and models of climate science within visual arts contexts. The  Data Landscapes exhibition features works by Tom Corby, Gavin Baily + Jonathan Mackenzie; Lise Autogena + Joshua Portway.

The exhibition will be preceded by a half-day symposium on Friday 20 May, investigating the creative potential of climate data, and how multidisciplinary art-science practices can appropriate data models and disseminate them to new audiences. 

Exhibition

Works by Tom Corby, Gavin Baily + Jonathan Mackenzie; Lise Autogena + Joshua Portway

Our modern understanding of climate arises from modeled data, gathered from multiple sources and synthesised across models of various types. ‘Data Landscapes’ presents two artworks that utilise real-time data to create poetic mappings of global systems.

‘Data Landscapes’ is organised by CREAM (The Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media, University of Westminster) in partnership with The Arts Catalyst. It forms part of an AHRC funded network project which has been exploring the use of data and models of climate science within visual arts contexts.

The Southern Ocean Studies by Tom Corby, Gavin Baily + Jonathan Mackenzie reveals hidden systemic complexity using climate model outputs of the Antarctic Southern Ocean. Currents circulating the central Antarctic land mass are generated in real-time and mapped against other environmental data sets. These produce flickering constellations of carbon circulation and wind direction, developing something that might be called a systems or materialist poetics. The project has been produced in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey.

The project software runs in real-time generating the ocean currents encircling Antarctica, to, which are, mapped various ecological data sets. These geophysical phenomena visually mesh to produce filamented structures from data describing tidal flow, wind direction and geochemical and atmospheric flux. While it’s tempting to see the swirling forms as representative of an Antarctic wilderness, in actuality the patterning effect is as much a product of human activies as natural ecologies. The Southern Ocean is a crucial component of the Earth’s climate system as it may be responsible for absorbing 15% of the planets carbon emissions. Carbon saturation of this stretch of water caused by inaction on climate change, has had knock on effect in terms of increased heat transference throughout the planet; the intricacies of the patterning are bittersweet representing both the beauties of a complex Earth system and a political and social failure.

The project has involved extensive research into how climate systems work, climate model technologies and scientific research methodologies. In doing so it has received expert advice concerning climate data and modelling from Nathan Cunningham, David Walton, Andrew Clarke and Claire Tancell from the British Antarctic survey; access to climate data sets from Bob Hallberg from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Southampton’s Oceanographic Centre and the ARGO programme.

Lisa Autogena + Joshua Portway’s Most Blue Skies combines the latest in atmospheric research, environmental monitoring and sensing technologies with the romantic history of the blue sky and its fragile optimism. It addresses our changing relationship to the sky as the subject for scientific and symbolic representation. Fed by live global atmospheric data, the installation calculates the passage of light through particulate matter in the atmosphere and computes sky colours for five million places on earth, while displaying ongoing calculations and a global map of sky colours. A specially developed lighting system reproduces the colour of the current bluest sky in real time.

Most Blue Skies is an ongoing project by Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena. The first editions of Most Blue Skies were shown at the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea in 2006, Copenhagen Climate Summit, 2009 and Tensta Kunsthalle, Sweden, 2010. A scaled down presentation of the project will be shown here.

Most Blue Skies attempts to answer the child’s question: “Where is the bluest sky in the world?” - and it is a painstakingly laborious pursuit for an answer: Advanced realtime satellite and atmospheric sensor data is processed by custom-built software, simulating the passage of light through the atmosphere and calculating the colour of the sky at millions of places on earth. Minute by minute, as the earth rotates and weather systems change, the location of the most blue sky is displayed, along with the most accurate possible reproduction of it’s colour.  It plays with the tension between the simplicity and romance of the image of the blue sky, and the complex technology involved in measuring and representing it. It explores our changing perception of the sky space above us and the effort required to sustain a human vision of nature.

Developed with support from Tom Riley, Newcastle University, Space and Atmospheric Physics at Imperial College London, The Met Office, UCL Colour and Vision Research Laboratory, The Alexandra Institute, The US National Physical Laboratory and NASA.

Symposium

Friday 20 May 2011, 1:30 – 6pm. Free.

The Data Landscapes symposium will investigate the creative potential of climate data, and how multidisciplinary art-science practices can appropriate data models and disseminate them to new audiences. For more details click on the link opposite.

Video footage is available at http://data-ecologies.ning.com/page/data-landscapes

Supported by

Data Landscapes is supported by the AHRC, University of Westminster and Arts Council England.

 

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Ice Blink

Artworks by Simon Faithfull from his journey to Antarctica

Ice Blink is a term referring to a white glare that appears on the underside of low clouds in sub-zero sea conditions, indicating the presence of ice beyond the range of vision, and warning ships to be on guard.

Artist Simon Faithfull was invited to travel to Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey as part of The Arts Council’s International Fellowships Programme. Departing from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire he travelled on to the Falklands via Ascension Island, where he joined scientists on board the ice-strengthened ship RSS Ernest Shackleton. On its way south to Antarctica, the ship broke its way through expanses of sea-ice, passing icebergs, ice cliffs and uninhabited islands heading for the science-fiction-like Halley Research Station perched on stilts above the empty, white wilderness.

Surrounded by inhospitable conditions outside of the vessel the crew within lived their own set conventions and references that had developed over years of exploration, independent of the changing society in the external world.

Ice Blink was an exhibition of work from this incredible journey; daily drawings made on a palm pilot etched onto glass; a poetic film of a whaling station populated with seals, photographs that defy perceptions of scale; films of the view through the porthole redolent with a Sokurov-like quality of light; experiments with weather balloons; and a performative lecture highlighting the myths of Antarctica and the realities of how the climate change has shifted this archetypal remote location.

Antarctica is a mythical location that has captured the imagination of many, and whose reality defies known perceptions of scale and experience. It is the location where the effects of global warming can be physically experienced and where the remote becomes an identifiable place.

Antarctica is a site tied up with a sense of British identity: a territory far from these shores that conjures legends of great explorers and journeys.

The Antarctica series is an incredible body of work that is filled with a poetics and politics of space, place, and perceptions.

Travelling to Antarctica on RSS Ernest Shackleton from RAF Brize Norton via Ascension Island and the Falklands, Simon Faithfull recorded the displaced and disorienting world he encountered by filming the view out of his cabin porthole and with daily Palm Pilot drawings, transmitted each day to email inboxes around the world. Combined with diary entries and notes, these drawing and films have been incorporated into a series of lectures presented in Edinburgh, Helsinki, Norwich, Berlin and London.

Reproduced in book form, Ice Blink: An Antarctic Essay was published as part of Book Works Opus Projects (Opus 6) by Book Works and The Arts Catalyst and edited by Lisa Le Feuvre.

ISBN 978 1 870699 92

Printed offset in an edition of 1,500 copies, full colour, 128 pages, with a soft cover.

Designed by Practise/James Goggin.

164 x 215mm. 1

Price £14.50

Simon Faithfull

 

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Bipolar: Anne Brodie, Weather Permitting

New works by Anne Brodie and Weather Permitting shown at the Society of Antiquaries, London, alongside the launch of a new book, Bipolar

Two new commissioned works were shown at the Society of Antiquaries to coincide with the launch of the new book Bipolar, as the culmination of the Polar programme.

Artist Anne Brodie took one of the lumps of ice that she had brought back from Antarctica out of its lodgings inside the British Antarctic Surveys freezer in Cambridge and let it not so gently melt over the course of the evening. It was acoustically wired up by sound engineers Lee Patterson and Mark Hornsby, and produced uncomfortably loud interruptions as the ancient air kept locked under pressure by the ice belched into the London air. The cabinet was recycled from an exhibition held in the British museum

Weather Permitting (Kathryn Yusoff and Jennifer Gabrys) presented a series of large snow globes containing contemporary or near-future polar landscapes. Forecast Factory: Snow Globes and Climate Change are part of a project that investigates the phenomena of weather, from tornadoes in trailer parks to drifting ice shelves in the Antarctic. 

Publication:

Bipolar is a interdisciplinary polar archive created for International Polar Year 2007-08. It is published to mark the 'Polar Archives' symposium and series of talks, held at the British Library in Autumn 2007, which brought together leading artists, scholars, scientists and thinkers to explore how our knowledge of the Polar regions is constructed and how it can be enriched.

The book features essays from the renowned geographer Denis Cosgrove and cultural critic Kathryn Yusoff, and over 30 'archives' contributed by the symposium participants that investigate various records — visual, personal, historical, chemical, biological — that can enrich and extend our engagement with the Polar regions and their effect on global environments. The collection investigates how archives place demands on us to think about what is vital in that knowledge—vital to our present work and to the work to come—the basis on which we remake worlds. With the Polar regions under increasing pressure due to climate change, both environmentally and geopolitically, these archives assume their most potent role as the basis on which we imagine and shape the futures of both polar and global spaces.

Authors include Denis Cosgrove, Kathryn Yusoff, Nicola Triscott, Eric Wolff, Heather Frazar, Rachel Weiss, London Fieldworks, Stephan Harrison, Marko Peljhan, Katrina Dean, Anne Brodie, Sverker Sörlin, Simon Faithfull, Aqqaluk Lynge.

Price £12.95
ISBN 9780953454662
Edited by Kathryn Yusoff
Published by The Arts Catalyst, 2008
Designed by PKMB/Paul Khera
Full colour, 128 pages, softback.
Dimensions 220 x 170mm.

Buy online from Cornerhouse

Links to artists' websites:

Anne Brodie and Weather Permitting

 

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POLAR: The Art and Science of Climate Change

A programme focusing on the curation and production of climate change knowledge in the polar regions

POLAR: The Art & Science of Climate Change was a multi-disciplinary project exploring cultural and scientific issues surrounding climate change.

It incorporated a 2-day international symposium, a publication Bipolar, a series of public lectures, and two new artists' commissions from Anne Brodie and Weather Permitting. POLAR was curated by Kathryn Yusoff and The Arts Catalyst, and organised with the British Library and the Open University.

Polar: Fieldwork & Archive Fever - An Interdisciplinary Symposium

Polar: Fieldwork & Archive Fever was an interdisciplinary symposium at the British Library on the 19 & 20 November 2007. It focused on the curation and production of climate change knowledge in the polar regions. Keynote speakers were Professor Denis Cosgrove, University of California, Professor Sverker Sörlin, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, Professor Rachel Weiss, Art Institute of Chicago, and Simon Faithfull, artist.

Full programme and abstracts can be downloaded opposite.

Public Talks

As part of the Polar programme, a series of four public lectures addressed broader cultural and policy-related themes arising from the symposium:

Wed 17 October - Everyday Disasters
Mon 5 November - Climate Change & Human Rights
Mon 19 November - The New Iconography of Climate Change
Mon 26 November - Geopolitics of Cold 

Bipolar Book

Bipolar, a new interdisciplinary publication featuring more than 30 'archives' contributed by the symposium and talks participants, was published by Arts Catalyst in June 2008. It is distributed by Cornerhouse Publications.

Two new commissions by Anne Brodie and Weather Permitting were shown at The Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1 on 20 July 2008, coinciding with the launch of the Bipolar book.

Support

The project was supported by a grant from Arts Council England, the Open University and in-kind support from the British Library.

 

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