"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).
Svalbard is an archipelago high within the Arctic Circle. The largest of its islands is called Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.” In 1920 a treaty known as the Svalbard Act was signed by several nations recognising Norwegian sovereignty over the islands, and declaring the whole region a demilitarized zone.
This is a short film about how Svalbard, over the course of recent history, became increasingly linked to developments in climate science, and climate change.
It is brief for a subject so large, and lacks the detail of key facts and figures that would provide a much better understanding of the current consensus on climate. Then again, you may perhaps feel it has too many numbers already. It is my hope that regardless of what you make of the content, you will find it beautiful to watch.
The North Pole has a neighbour: Svalbard. It’s one of the world’s most striking wilderness areas, and it’s where Norrøna came up with one of its greatest and most popular concepts: svalbard. Inspired by vast glaciers, fantastic fjords and jagged peaks, svalbard also honours polar heroes of past and present. These products are outdoor essentials – arctic quality cotton for winter use, rugged summer mountain wear, renowned synkron™ backpacks and a special expeditionary concept developed personally by Børge Ousland. Durability and weather protection characterize Norrøna’s entire svalbard series. Yet we use materials that are kinder to the environment, like recycled polyester and organic cotton. View the products here: norrona.com/svalbard
A short film showing off the majesty of the landscape of the high Arctic. Experience stunning aerial footage over sea ice, ice caps and glaciers as well as stunning mountain landscapes. See what it's like to encounter walrus and polar bears from a first person perspective!
Please note: Some of this footage is from a small drone, other parts were made with head-mounted cameras. When flying the drone, we took great pains to stay well clear of birds and other wildlife. We explicitly set out to neither endanger nor harass, and to act responsibly at all times. The footage with wildlife close to the camera was all either head-mounted or hand-held camera work.
A video summary of the two Svalbard photo tours I ran with Luminous Landscape in July 2014. Footage almost exclusively shot with a pair of GoPro Hero 3+ cameras, one mounted on a DJI Phantom 2 drone.