The Arctic Circle is a program that brings together a selected group of 30 scientists, artists, architects, educators and innovators for two weeks aboard a Barquentine rigged Tall Ship. Navigating the Arctic water of the Svalbard territory, the ship, the surrounding environment, and our peers will be the instigator and the incubator that allows participants to develop thoughtful and experimental work. Through individual and collaborative endeavors alike, the program fosters a superbly unique opportunity to engage in relevant and critical issues.
And yes, my spouse is undoubtedly, and ridiculously awesome for her ALL-IN support ... Thanks Kimberly!
Donations don't get just a mere "Thank You" ... as I'd love to be able to give something back from my experience in return:
A few weeks before applying for The Arctic Circle, I had spent the day at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Fall River, MA mesmerized by the Arctic photographs and paintings by William Bradford. The image above is one of those photographs and I have been inspired to return to the origins of my artistic beginnings - analog photography. This is an expedition that is entirely off the grid and acting and interacting with this landscape by slower, more intentional analog means is an important component in my approach. How to engage this place and this experience through the lens in a meaningful and relevant way, that is the challenge and one that is still in process as I prepare. The Arctic is a place that is inextricably linked with climate change in a powerful and tangible way that is not always present in other parts of the world, and it is an anchoring point in my mind that I hope to confront on this expedition. In the spirit of the residency, which is about exploration, incubation, experimentation and collaboration, I also have a myriad of other ideas filling a sketchbook which range from taking a variation of ACOUSTIC CONES to a photographic CRANKIE, to an illustrated children's book. I am embarking with the camera as the central core of my approac to capture the landscape, but believe that for this to be the richest and most impactful experience possible, it is important to respond to the place, people and possibilities that will inevitably present themselves. I am also on the lookout for opportunities upon my return to share my work and experience if you happen to have any suggestions or venues you'd like to point me towards ... schools, galleries etc.!
The Arctic has been a particularly compelling region for centuries of explorers, artists and scientists aboard innumerous expeditions, and Svalbard has long been one of those Arctic destinations. Today is no different, and although the risks are considerably minimized, the region is at a much greater risk and offers an opportunity to explore not just a remote region, but a spectrum of issues that are relevant to our time. We fly into Longyearbyen, on the international territory of Svalbard, which is only 10 degrees latitude from the North Pole. The waters surrounding this archipelago will be the area of exploration, with daily landings led by their expert team of trained and certified High Arctic guides. Svalbard holds a fascinating international history of whaling, mining, exploration (and survival) and scientific missions. Today it is the site of the Global Seed Vault, The Norwegian Meteorlogical Institute, Polish Polar Station and home to Polar Bears, Reindeer and Arctic Foxes. The expedition I will be participating in will be during the summer solstice and in 24hrs of daylight!