Longyearbyen / 2015

 

Video documentation (Silent): Haapsalu City Gallery, Estonia


HD video

Svalbard is the northernmost inhabited area in the world with a permanent civilian population and Longyearbyen is the largest settlement and the administrative center of the Norwegian archipelago. Ever since its discovery by Europeans in the late 16th century, Svalbard has had a grim history of environmental destruction with its excessive whaling and coal mining. Although environmental responsibility and the preservation of Arctic nature is now a topic of utmost importance for the locals, it is still questionable if we should inhabit such fragile polar ecosystems. This animated video, produced with a polar panorama effect, is captured at the dead center of Lonyearbyen. It depicts the culturally active city in the middle of the still Arctic landscape as a living globe, much like like an organism under a microscope. A parasite, perhaps?

 

Exhibited in "My Eyes Are Going Crazy, I am Trying to See Something But There's Nothing Here" with Erika Stöckel (SE)

Introduction to the exhibition:

 

In November 2014, Sten Saarits and Erika Stöckel arrived to the arctic island Spitsbergen to begin a month long research project revolving around the preconceptions and field analysis of the Arctic. The work in their polar residency began on the time where the sun had set for a long lasting polar night giving way to a very specific sense of surroundings. The investigation was focused on societies responsibilty for fragile eco systems, unraveling the environment and self-positioning in the chain of events.