Polaris (Slow Motion Landscapes)

Research and Conceptual project
2010

The project looks to explore the threshold between the historical event of Sir Shackleton’s expedition on ´the Endurance` as well as the three-dimensional reconstruction of a timber boat in connection with the triggering of an archive – as what the ice masses are being considered – in its materiality as well as conceptually. The POLARIS project’s non-linear narration, focuses on the fractured timber pieces of the Endurance, which were still captured within the Antarctica and over decades had moved through the force of the ice. Their traces tell a new story about the original event from a scientific aspect looking at how the seasons, temperature and climate changes have all affected the timber pieces and still do so.

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Polaris (Slow Motion Landscapes)


The use of Archived Architecture™ in tracing man-made structures in hydrospheric environments


CORDELIA HÄNEL


POLARIS is based on an historical event from almost 100 years ago and is being revisited in 2010 using present-day processes and technologies in a new concept called Archived Architecture™


The project references an historical event where ´Polaris` was the original name of a timber frame sailing boat built in a Norwegian dockyard in 1912. Sir Ernest Shackleton, the British adventurer, chose the ship and renamed it ´the Endurance` for what was considered the last major expedition of the heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. The voyage ended early when ´the Endurance` ran aground within the ice “like an almond in a piece of toffee” with the crew still living on board until the masses of the ice got too strong and the construction of the boat gave in to the forces of nature. The crew managed to continue by foot with all of them surviving after reaching the open sea again.


The project therefore looks to explore the threshold between the historical event of Sir Shackleton’s expedition on ´the Endurance` as well as the three-dimensional reconstruction of a timber boat in connection with the triggering of an archive – as what the ice masses are being considered – in its materiality as well as conceptually. The POLARIS project’s non-linear narration, focuses on the fractured timber pieces of the Endurance, which were still captured within the Antarctica and over

decades had moved through the force of the ice. Their traces tell a new story about the original event from a scientific aspect looking at how the seasons, temperature and climate changes have all affected the timber pieces and still do so. Any movement in the masses of ice or glacial activity are best defined as a slow motion landscape – which is shaping the surrounding as well as transformations are happening within. Ice masses also have the characteristics of capturing CO2 Values as only one example why it is a living archive – enabling today’s scientists to reconstruct the past. In this instance in connection with a timber boat and its original architectural form. But most importantly examining its (conceptual) failure to exist within an environment that is not congruent to its original make-up & purpose. It is the process of reconstruction and gathering of information that makes it interesting within today’s Architectural Discourse – as the traditional representation of Architecture is challenged as the original shape is not purely reproduced/reconstructed (this would be the main focus of Archaeology), but instead the approach of incorporating all facets of what the event had been defined by – from today’s viewpoint.


POLARIS therefore has combined a variation of disciplines from Architecture to Motion Design within the new field of “New Media Art”. Its aim is to frame an innovative design concept using traditional tracing techniques such as illustrations and precise architectural drawings in combination with latest interactive computer software and generative design proficiency.


source: Design Ecologies, January 2011, Editor: Shaun Murray, www.polaris-project.co.uk

Polaris (Slow Motion Landscapes)

Research and Conceptual project
2010

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