an interactive installation
exhibited as part of the exhibition:
'reasonable and senseless: a technical disaster'
Surrey Art Gallery
Surrey, British Columbia
May 21- July 10, 2005
MELT is an interactive video installation that explores
the potential '‘environmental disaster’ of global warming
and more specifically the climate and environmental changes that
have already taken place in the western Canadian Arctic region.
A recent report from the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment shows
this region to have the highest degree of weather change on the
planet, causing the shrinkage of sea ice which threatens wildlife
from walruses to polar bears. Melt-water from disappearing glaciers
is disrupting ocean currents that govern climate around the world.
MELT has three main components: a video loop composed of archived
imagery taken from the RADARSAT, a remote-sensing satellite that
uses radar to take images useful for monitoring environmental and
climate change processes; a glass vitrine housing a miniature arctic
diorama, icamera and small monitor; and a wall projection of a time-lapse
photography piece. The gallery participant, viewing the model in
the vitrine, is recorded and mixed into the RADARSAT imagery. When
projected onto the tech lab floor participants experience a "satellites-eye”
perspective that temporarily merges their likeness into the topography.
Some of the images sequentially illustrate the cracking and melting
of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, the largest ice cap in the arctic. A
tragic consequences of the ice shelf’s rupture was the loss
of all the freshwater from the northern hemisphere’s largest
epishelf lake which contained a unique biological community, consisting
of both freshwater and marine species of plankton.
was created through the generous support of Video In Studios and
the Toronto Arts Council. Special thanks to David Jhave Johnston
and Kenneth Newby for their technical assistance and RADARSAT International
under licence from Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing for permission
to use the satellite images. Special thanks to Donna Szoke.
Documentation: Michael Alstad & Donna Szoke
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO DOCUMENTATION
at Eastern Edge
on icons below for photo documentation