Deepnorth takes the form of a virtual expedition to the north pole gathering along the way images, information, stories, and imaginings of our farthest north. Every day for a year in 2005 I traveled to the North Pole in my studio, posting each day an image and short writing that mimic the form of nineteenth century explorers’ logbooks in the contemporary form of a blog.
The narrative of the project wanders between a gathering of bits of information, be they historical, scientific, or technical, alongside the tracking of my learning about the north pole and deep arctic, the radical shift in my awareness of the multiple histories, ecologies, and significances of the site, and how this data search has inflected the content of my work.
monthly excerpts from the project:
January 26, 2005
to see the north pole at all, one has to have some kind of guide. an expedition guide to get there and a visual guide to make sense of the whiteness.
gliders must rely on GPS data, or risk landing on some random bit of ice, not geographically marked as the north pole.
the north pole is all data and no experience.
See also: GPS | data |
February 17, 2005
The geographical North Pole does stay in one place but because it is thirteen thousand feet below the surface of the Arctic Ocean and the ice above is constantly on the move, anyone who gets there has to keep moving to stay there
A fogbow is a rare form of a rainbow. The water droplets in fog are very small, so interference causes the colors to blend into pure white.
See also: weather | fogbow |
March 22, 2005
the many shapes of the arctic. maps and vernacular refer to an arctic circle, but this is wandering line is the true shape of the arctic region, defined by temperature, where the mean warmest temperature is never over 10 degrees. the shape is unlikely, rambling, random even.
See also: map |
April 14, 2005
the confluence of ufos and the north pole is seldom but fanatastical. the sightings of alien crafts hovering in our skies is as much about the unknown and the borders of imagination as our images of explorers at the end of their limit trying (or failing) to reach our northernmost point. Both realms are dominated by science, military power, extreme physical feats, and a peculiarly individual passion to explore.
See also: ufo | alien | sky | imagination | explorer | science | military |
May 01, 2005
photography at the north pole–in 1874, the Pandora sailed in the very last expedition dispatched by Lady Franklin, this time in search of any documents which might clear up the mystery of the expedition’s last days. No records were found, but photographs were taken, as shown in this engraving of a photographer atop the ice of Peel Sound, from the Illustrated London News of 30 October, 1875.
See also: nineteenth century | ship | etching | explorer | mass media | Russell A. Potter | photography | Sir John Franklin |
June 12, 2005
tiny ice crystals–frazil ice–the foundation of arctic ice, the first step in its formation to a think cover, which is eventually as unstable and shifting as these crystals are when floating in the sea
See also: fracil ice | sea |
July 25, 2005
the morphology of zones of the glacial imagination:
the zone of accumulation: the upper part that receives the most snowfall
a cirque: the bowl shaped depression resulting from the erosion of rock due to force of weight of ice
zone of deposition (also known as zone of wastage or zone of ablation): near foot of glacier where sediment is deposited.
line of equilibrium: place between downward erosion and upward accumulation
See also: glacier | science | imagination | ice | categorize |
August 21, 2005
so what would happen if an architect, an artist, a science fiction illustrator, and a scientist got together to imagine one small fragment of utopia: the home in the year 3000 at the North Pole? Would they design a building, come up with a list of necessities, trace possible world political conditions, design a morphology of third millenium dreams, imagine what pleasure might be?
See also: utopia | science fiction | architecture | home |
September 27, 2005
what is the relationship between technology and the north pole? The north pole is largely a place created and sustained through nineteenth century narratives
of desire and heroism. The current scientific, tourist, and extreme sports expeditions are a kind of footnote to the grand adventure story that is the pole. Technology has led us there, has let us view it from afar, has showed us its secrets and perils as well as its beauty and vulnerability. Technology has allowed us to sustain ourselves there, to record and document it, to study and catalog it. Ultimately without technology we could never have breached it, be it though the technology of the ship designs that sought to conquer or rise above the ice or through an ordinary, even somewhat corny, technology like the webcam that allows everyone to observe a daily ordinary passing of time, light, and weather.
See also: web cam | technology | sport | tourism | unknown |
October 28, 2005
Projected temperature increases between 1990 and 2100 exceed 8° centigrade for the South Pole and 12° centigrade for the North Pole with no policy of significantly lower emissions and half those emissions with such a policy. Warming is greater at the North Pole because the smaller area of Arctic Sea ice means less reflected sunlight.
–Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
See also: climate change | ice | science | light |
November 06, 2005
Ultima Thule in medieval geographers may also denote any distant place located beyond the “borders of the known world”. Pytheas claimed that Thule was six days north of Britain, and that the midsummer sun never set there.
See also: Thule | imagination | light | unknown |
December 31, 2005
this dense, layered, complex map shows that the north pole is not, as we might have once thought, a blank, freezing, flat plain half deep dark or half blazing light. Instead a year of research following every possible trail of information on every facet of the pole has led me to consider the entire arctic circle. This place is the marker of a future of our world. The media is full of dire warnings of the effects of global warming, and science appears to consistently give evidence to prove that our future climate will be entirely different, largely due to human’s use of fossil fuels. It is into the crystal ball of this vulnerable, beautiful, unique, extreme, northerly place that we should peer to find ourselves.
See also: future |