White on White

Alfredo Thiermann & Ariel Bustamante (Chile)

Galata Greek Primary School

“The Antarctic Treaty of 1959 established a particular set of constraints stemming from the fears of Cold-War politics… Understood as a closed world, the Antarctic Treaty aimed to coin a new kind of ‘artificial’ nature through a series of negations: No politics. No industry. No natural-resources exploitation. No waste. Therefore, no architecture, and apparently no design. But Antarctica is too social and too narrated to be truly natural. We propose to look and listen to Antarctica as a highly humanized territory, but one populated by a particular kind of human… The very surface of Antarctica is a human design… The seemingly un-inhabited Antarctic could be read as the ultimate contemporary ruin. One that concentrates within its shifting topography the traces and effects of human activity throughout the planet.” –AT, AB


White on White is a multimedia installation that undoes the common understanding of Antarctica as a non-designed territory by overlapping two different types of documentation: a series of photographs from an early aerial survey by the United States Air Force in 1953, and a number of contemporary sounds recorded on-site in Antarctica. The juxtaposition of the two seeks to give hints about the vast yet largely invisible — industrial, scientific and military presence on Earth’s southernmost continent.