The Glaciarium

David Kwon, Christo Logan, Nicole Seekely, Phillip Anzalone


Part of "The Aurora Project
By Jason Kelly Johnson and Nataly Gattegno
The Van Alen Institute 2008-09 New York Prize Fellows

The Aurora Project is an index of shifting territorial resources in the Arctic and a speculative vision for a massive new energy infrastructure and settlement pattern. Aurora suggests an alternative approach to the exploration, exploitation and eventual colonization of the region. It is simultaneously a projection of an imminent environmental condition, and the materialization of how contemporary political, social and ecological trends might be channeled towards a more productive future.

The Aurora installation on view in the Van Alen Institute gallery superimposes the ephemeral qualities of the Arctic ice field with the dynamic behavior of visitors, translating the shifting dimensions of the ice into an immersive system of flickering auroras and responsive luminescent skins. Presented alongside Aurora is a map room (“Terra Incognita”) consisting of original drawings, diagrams and other materials that provide a view into how the Arctic region has been represented, claimed, and mythologized in the past and present. A smaller interactive instrument (“The Glaciarium”) engages visitors’ senses through the sight and sound of a melting ice core.