The Cold Coast Archive is a joint project between artists Annesofie Norn, Signe Lidén and Steve Rowell, using the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) as a focal point. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located on the outskirts of the remote, arctic town of Longyearbyen, on the island of Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard archipelago, halfway between the North Pole and Norway. It is also known as the “Doomsday Vault”. A biological safety deposit box, the SGSV has been compared to Noah’s Ark, and a back-up hard drive. The seeds stored here are duplicate samples held in seed banks worldwide -- they provide insurance against extinction in the case of large scale regional or global catastrophes. The facility is about 130 meters above sea level and has been tunnelled 120 meters into the mountain, in a stable geologic formation. The location is built to be so far below ground that it guarantees stable permafrost and is high enough above sea level to secure the facility against any rise in sea level as a result of global warming, nuclear attack, and earth quakes. The Cold Coast Archive project investigates and explores human beings’ efforts to preserve civilization and defy the inevitability of its demise. It investigates Svalbards Global Seed Vaults practical, political, historical and symbolic structure, its arctic location, as well as its infrastructure and cultural nuances expressed in the local environment. The wide range of material collected is meant to form an archieve of human perception of time between the present and eternity. Eternity...this intangible future often leads to ideas of a larger divine plan or might well feed a desire for quick profit and short term results, accelerated by technology and market-driven economies.There is a gap between the present and eternity, a distance we often call "future generations" or "our children and grandchildren" in an attempt to relate to the distant future. It is the distance between an intense present, with major political, social and climatic challenges and an elusive future hiding beyond the horizon of our understanding that The Cold Coast Archive is relating to. Thanks to all the people who has contributed to the project; Alexander Rose, Anne Christine Meaas, Anne Kristine Rostad Meland, Aud, Chris Ware, Daniel Plewe, Hallvard Strøm and Vidar Bakken, Haruki Senoo, Jochem Braakhekke, Jørn Dybdahl,, Leif Magne Helgesen, Lorna Little, Melissa De Kock, Niklas Gerhardsson, Peter Smits, Roland Von Botmer, Sigri Sandberg Meløy, Stafano Pouili,Svein Jonny Arbrigtsen, Silas Norn, Takashi Momi, Tom Oredal, Tor Sverre Karlson, Vladimir Borisov. Many thanks to Re:place research project at KHIB, Katharina Jedermann at UDK Berlin and to BEK, VISP, Roar Sletteland, Jonas Olesen and Tolga Balci
The principle of triangulation is applied as the formal structure of the Island. Printed photos from Svalbard is imposing a combinational structure of triangles as a continuous domain. Thus the island is forming the physical and metaphorical drawings of the islands structure. he photos are sorted into season and latitude groups, with a liquid transition between each. Moving through the Island you travel through time and geographical space. Horizontally from spring to summer over autumn. Vertically you travel from below through the matter of earth and dirt, the geological past and above into the Now of Longyearbyen and a human timescale of everyday life. Thus we have collected a vast amount of material which is often interrelated directly through thematic, sometimes just by a few words, sometimes by the visual structure or quality of the material, the person involved or the concrete geographical location appearing over the seasons. We hope that this site will enable the spectator to experience the content in a way that a sense of time, space and synchronicity will be an apparent part of the cognition. For this special task we chose to make a webpage, which could work as an interactive exhibition platform, available for an audience independently from locality. This side was lauched in May 2012, at the Cold Coast Projects first exhibition at the Center of Postnatural History, Pittsburgh, USA. [http://postnatural.org] The site was programmed by Sascha Kranz. The concept was developed and realized by Annesofie Norn, in dialogue with Steve Rowell [www.steverowell.com] and Signe Lidén [http://signeliden.com]. The embedded content is from all 3 participants in the project.
Please use Firefox or Chrome while browsing the page When you enter the page you will be able to navigate through 10 different perspectives of the island, using the compass tool in the right below corner or/and by navigating alphabetically using the index in the upper left corner, or/and by choosing tags within the footage itself . You can additionally zoom in and out in the maps, exactly as you can by google maps. Within the triangular photos of the island is all the content of the project imbedded. Photo, video and sound works are all assigned a coordinate on the map which is corresponding with the geographical, seasonal or thematic content of the footage. Each keyword extracts media, from specific points from the faceted landscape visualization object. Locations are not meant to directly reflect reality, but to evoke a spirit of the place, an evocation of this landscape which defies comprehension, due to its vastness and a sublime timelessness rarely found in other densely populated, urban, everyday surroundings. We hope this technique of representing the island of Spitsbergen will allow the user to build his or her own impression of the landscape experienced by those who gathered the assigned media during their own explorations.