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2012 Voltar

Project Description

Emergencies | Guimarães, Portugal, Fabrica ASA, 2012 European Union Centre for Art & Architecture

Commissioned for Emergencias, the world premiere of The European Union's 2012 Capital of Culture art exhibition hosted in Guimaraes, Portugal, Voltar is one of a series of three ice-cloning projects (Radiant Arc, Voltar, and Versonne) the artist has designed to clone fragments of ancient ice-core samples taken from Northern Hemisphere glaciers that are rapidly disappearing due to global climate change. Voltar is unique in that it clones fragments of ice-core samples retrieved by scientists from deep within the ice sheet that originally covered Europe 20,000 years ago during the last glacial maximum. Curated by renowned bio-artist and author Dr. Marta de Menezes, the exhibition includes the work of nineteen artists from Europe, Australia and the America's, and is organized around themes of natural phenomena and living systems. Emergencias is an experimental art exhibition that synthesizes art, science and technology to develop novel new ideas on the future of art and exhibit powerful new discovery occurring at the nexus of this creative triad. Emergencias, was installed in the 50,000 square foot Sector G gallery space located inside the former industrial textile complex Fabrica ASA. The half-million square foot building was renovated and transformed beginning in 2010 by funds from the EU to make the former factory into a major international arts and culture complex that supports research, collections and exhibition in contemporary architecture, design, visual, and performing arts. Voltar dramatically advances original research developed for the telepresence installation Alchymeia that the artist created for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. In Alchymeia naturally occurring steroids from the blood and urine of Olympic athletes were harvested to act as doping agents that seeded nucleation of extraordinarily unusual snowflakes, snowflakes whose heterodox architecture would otherwise never be found in nature. By engineering modifications into the physical structure of snow and ice - similar to those occurring in the athlete's bodies - the fierce physical and cultural competition of the Olympic Games allowed Alchymeia to amplify the uncomfortable debate surrounding notions perfect and imperfect, natural and unnatural, the sacred and profane in the emerging era of genomic research.


Video Description

Video detail of cloned ice crystal. Core sample used for doping was from the NEEM (North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling Site). The location of the ice core sample was 77°27'N 51°3.6'W, and taken at a depth of 1683.55 m. The sample is dated at approximately 20,000 years old, from the last glacial maximum. Size 8.25in X 11.75in.



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