FUNDED! This project was successfully funded on 06 August, 2012. Find other projects
The Arctic Circle
- Visual Arts
I am going to the ARCTIC!
I was accepted to The Arctic Circle residency, a three-week expedition on an ice-class Barqentine tall ship departing from Svalbard, Norway, to cruise just ten degrees from the North Pole! This International prgram invites about a dozen artists, scientists, architects, and educators to explore an area of the Arctic and respond to the experience in our work. I received a Lighton International Artists Exchange Program grant from the Kansas City Artists Coalition to help fund the expedition, but I need a further $4500 to cover the rest of the program fees, travel from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Svalbard, Norway, plus I need to purchase some sound recording equipment and an insulated jacket and snow boots.
My artwork is directly affected and inspired by my travels and the landscape I inhabit, so I choose them wisely. I have been studying arctic exploration in history. With the keen eye of hindsight it is painful to read of the errors and disasters in so many missions. What is it that compels us to explore now? Oceans have been crossed, lands discovered and charted, the earth has been rendered round and finite. What compels me to the great white North? I’m attracted to, and seek to emulate, the endurance and certainty of purpose in explorers like Bob Bartlett, a key crewmember and captain for Robert Peary’s North Pole “discovery,” and a hero of mine. Part of me wants to follow, or relive these past explorers’ paths yet I also desire my own mission to the North. I seek to stand on top of the world, enduring hardships to attain it, to obtain a clearer perspective of our world beneath.
Endurance and clarity- seeking characterize my artwork and my life. I’ve been redefining myself as “Artist/Adventurer” as the lines between my life and studio practice blur. I actually want to “un-discover” on my adventures by vacating the man-made world. My projects often involve making a device or situation to communicate with the natural landscape, or a historical site or story – something I consider raw, true, and amazing, which demand my attention and response. The Arctic Circle expedition offers an ideal setting for such discovery with the added benefit of peers and colleagues.
I am interested in silence and darkness, and to a lesser extent, solitude or isolation. Because these ideals are unattainable in our crowded city landscape, I make instruments and devices attempting to slow down time and hush noise, to focus on existing in the present moment. My work often addresses this longing and impossibility. Silence and darkness compel me into nature on expeditions. And they compel me to the North.
My Arctic Circle project will be tuned to sound vs silence, micro-sounds of the landscape adjusting its icy crust and the quality of honest light, devoid of man-made light pollution which illuminates, at last, the pointillist furnace in the sky. It will utilize sound recording and playback; I would like to “serenade” the great white North. Photography and video capture scenes of a brief performance with sculptural items I bring for the trip. I will maintain a detailed journal, or log, of the expedition as well.
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