Visual Perceptions of the Arctic and Antarctic
This is the second installment of the Arctic and Antarctic series, which covered the Gender on Ice conference that was held at Barnard College on Nov. 21.
Life in the Arctic and Antarctic is far more complicated and challenging for these contributors, not to mention, the extreme weather condition, yet these photographers, scientists, writers, filmmakers, and artists seem to have been inspired by the harsh environment and climate.
The gallery of photographs and audio-visual works were beautiful, imaginative, and at times, humorous. Each photographer told her/his story about the Arctic and Antarctic.
Their works reflect their personal views and artistic concepts. More importantly, they are passionate about the preservation of the two Poles. The shrinking ice has spurred tourist boats that continually pose grave danger to the eco-systems, indigenous people, and a plethora of species.
The list of international and American artists, scientists, and writers who have contributed to this conference was impressively long. Out of the 26 contributors, 13 contributors and their images were selected to be included in this article. The details of each contributor are longer than the following minimal descriptions.
- Anne Aghion is an Emmy award winner and recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. Her most recent documentary, Ice People, follows geologists from North Dakota State University as they search for fossils in Antarctica. She’s a graduate of Barnard College.
- Subhankar Banerjee is an Indian-born artist-activist, uses photography to raise awareness about the rights of indigenous peoples and land conservation issues in the Artic. His Arctic works have been shown in 40 group and solo exhibitions in the US and Europe.
- Joyce Campbell is an interdisciplinary artist who traveled to Antarctica in 2006 with the Artists to Antarctica program sponsored by Creative New Zealand and Antarctica New Zealand.
- Andrea Juan is from Argentina, works with photography, digital video, graphic art, and installation. She has traveled to Antarctica four times to develop her Antarctica Project as a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow.
- Isaac Julien is a visiting lecturer at Harvard University School of Afro-American and Visual Environmental Studies. His latest film, Derek, a biopic of Derek Jarman, starring Tilda Swinton won high praise at the Sundance Film Festival.
- An-My Le is an assistant professor of photography at Bard College. She is a former Vietnamese political refugee to the US. She traveled to Antarctica under a National Science Foundation grant in 2008.
- Jane Marsching is a digital media artist. Her current project is Arctic Listening Post explores past, present and future human impact on the Arctic environment.
- Paul Miller (DJ Spooky) is a prolific composer, multimedia artist, and writer. His media works appeared in the Whitney Biennal, Venice Biennal, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Ludwig Museum, Germany, and numerous other museums and galleries. His poster features his latest multimedia works.
- Anne Noble is a photographer from New Zealand. She has visited the Antarctica twice, the first time as an Antarctica Arts Fellow in 2002.
- Andrea Polli is a digital media artist. She has spent two months in Antarctica on a National Science Foundation Artist Residency to follow weather and climate scientists in the Dry Valleys, at the South Pole.
- Annie Pootoogook is a third generation Inuit artist. Both her mother and grandmother were accomplished graphic artists. She draws on personal experience to guide her artwork reflecting her life and a broader Inuit life in Cape Dorset, Nuvanut, Canada.
- Connie Samaras was awarded a National Science Foundation Artists and Writers Grant to photograph built environments at the South Pole, Antarctica. She is currently a professor of Studio Art at the University of California, Irvine.
- Marina Zurkow is a professor at NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program. She focuses on narrative exploration of how humans relate to plants, animals, and the weather.
In honor of the International Polar Year, the US National Science Foundation also provided polar scientists cameras and tools to document their experiences and blogs on Ice Stories. It is a wonderfully informative and fun website.
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