Sixty-nine degrees south latitude, threshold of Antarctica, foreboding and cold, in an attempt to cross the continent, explorer Ernest Shackleton and crew have been shipwrecked, and now through the work of marionette company Phantom Limb, they emerge before us in the snow. A cryptic geologic language accompanies their journey, composed of field recordings layered over a gripping minimalist score (recorded by Kronos Quartet). As astral projections bathe the audience in a long polar night, hope rises with the sun and a darkly beautiful vision of the Antarctic future unfolds in this tale of survival at the end of the earth.
We collaborated with Phantom Limb on “69°S” to create an immersive, stage-filling, five-channel video installation which we mixed and processed live to accompany the performances. Our work provided historical context, atmospheric conditions (such as raging snowstorms, cracking ice, a lunar eclipse, and an otherworldly aurora), as well as abstracted, painterly, hand made images lending psychological and emotional weight to Shackleton’s dramatic and famous story of isolated men surviving against all odds.
“69°S” has been seen at a variety of locations including the Noorderzon Festival in Holland, EMPAC in Troy, NY, Dartmouth College and at BAM’s Next Wave Festival.