ICARUS is a conceptual project that combines architecture, science and landscape. Created for The Arctic Circle Residency (Svalbard 2017), this... Read More
ICARUS is a conceptual project that
combines architecture, science and landscape. Created for The Arctic Circle
Residency (Svalbard 2017), this ephemeral and site specific land art
installation provides a conceptual geoengineering prototype, providing a heat
shield made with highly reflective Mylar film and stainless steel rigging. The
project deploys 100m2 of ultra lightweight mirrored fabric to create a 10m
diameter breathable surface that allows installation in diverse locations. This
architectural surface with a hand cut pattern of arcs is conceived as an agent
of repair – testing the controversial idea of climate engineering through a
modification of the site’s surface albedo.
ICARUS works to effectively replace
the lost albedo from melting ice in the north and south polar regions, working
to combat climate change with a theoretical global scale action. It presents a
symbolic land art intervention, giving scale to a possible human action that
could help to counteract the damaging effects of our intense and unceasing
greenhouse gas emissions. As a landscape work, ICARUS combines research from
architecture, engineering and science, and explores the role of artists and
designers as strategic thinkers. Creative action will be critical to shaping
local and global climate change responses, with an urgent need to work across
disciplinary boundaries and at different scales.
This environmental work explores the overlap between natural and artificial
conditions, and tests a radical climate engineering proposition that is under
debate in the scientific community, where there is significant tension between
the need for radical intervention, and a reluctance to further engage in the
manipulation of natural environments. ICARUS seeks to catalyse conversations
around climate activism in art, and the potential for environmental repair, and
speaks to our intimate connection to landscape, and sense of the sublime.
The work here is shown installed in Svalbard (Arctic
Circle) on land and on an iceberg at the edge of the north pole ice caps, and
on Aboriginal land in Dark Point, Myall Lakes National Park (Worimi Country),
in NSW Australia.
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