"In the Best of All Possible Worlds"
2011, 5 minutes 52 seconds, USA and Norway, English, 16:9, 1080p video with stereo sound
Collection: The Long Now Foundation
A short video from a larger research project “The Cold Coast Archive”, in collaboration with artists Signe Lidén and Annesofie Norn. Both this video and the collaborative project use the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) as a starting point for investigations into and extrapolations from the broader meaning of a remote landscape of contingency and preparedness. Built to withstand catastrophe, the SGSV is the most robust food-crop seed vault on Earth, buried in a frozen mountainside, on the arctic island of Spitsbergen. It was opened in 2008 and is currently hosting seeds from nearly every nation on Earth. Deep time, Disaster planning, Geopolitical speculation, and climate prediction, are recurring themes for both the place and the project. Spitsbergen is part of the Svalbard Archipelago, in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. It is one of the most remote and pristine places on Earth.
Video: Filmed in February 2011, during the first week of sunlight for that year.
Audio: Field recordings made inside the vault and at various mountaintops and fjords around Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen.
Voice: Professor Roland von Bothmer, Public Relations Officer for the SGSV (recorded inside the vault by Signe Lidén during a August 2011 interview).