MELT :: Edge Intermedia


Visiting Artist Opens Installation Exhibit
(Installation on view until November 18th 2006)
Location: Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s Newfoundland
Artist: Michael Alstad
Title: MELT
Presented by: Edge Intermedia

Global warming, and our mediated experience of the natural world, is explored in Michael Alstad’s interactive installation MELT. A report from the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment identifies the western Canadian Arctic 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. The recent rupture of The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, the largest ice cap in the arctic, resulted in the loss of all the freshwater from the northern hemisphere’s largest epishelf lake and the elimination of a unique biological community which consisted of marine species and plankton.

Utilising web cameras and a software program, the installation responds to movement in the gallery space, creating a feedback loop between 3 elements: The participant, a video projection of footage from a remote-sensing satellite that monitors the effects of climate change on the topography, and an arctic diorama. Aspects of time/space, dislocation and duplicity are suggested with the integration of physical bodies within the virtual and modeled environment.

MELT was originally exhibited as part of ‘Reasonable and Senseless: A Technical Disaster’ a three person exhibition at the Surrey Art Gallery held In May 2005.

MELT was created through the generous support of Vancouver’s Video In Studios and the Toronto Arts Council. Special thanks to KD Thornton for her technical assistance and RADARSAT International, under licence from Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing, for permission to use the satellite footage.