Not Planet Earth / Arctic Archipelago
October 27 – December 10, 2022
Arctic Archipelago was shot during the circumnavigation of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard Arctic Archipelago in August 2020 as part of an inquiry into sea ice and the geopolitics of the Circumpolar North. The challenge with this visual material is that of “denaturalising” the image. While the most visible proof that something is happening may be that of an ice shelf calving, these are environments that are saturated with politics: colonial, extractivist, military-intelligence etc. What can be seen, sensed, and known about these spaces beyond the melancholic register of melting ice?
Original musical score by Mohamad Safa.
Arctic Archipelago forms part of the multi-year research project Learning from Ice.
Not Planet Earth acts as a footnote to the film Arctic Archipelago (2021) and reflects upon the many conditions of image production that circumscribe access to and engagement with Svalbard’s cryospheric environment.
The Svalbard Arctic Archipelago is an environment saturated with politics, but little if anything of these politics is readily perceptible within the visual field. Taking the aesthetic regime of climate change seriously involves a recognition that the conditions of image production are themselves deeply entangled with the environmental conditions they seek to document and the histories of image extraction that have long colonized our Western imagination.
Susan Schuppli is a researcher and artist based in the UK whose work examines material evidence from war and conflict to environmental disasters and climate change. Current work is focused on ice core science and the politics of cold.
Creative projects have been exhibited throughout Europe, Asia, Canada, and the US. She has published widely within the context of media and politics and is author of the book, Material Witness published by MIT Press in 2020.
Schuppli is Reader and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London where she is also an affiliate artist-researcher and Board Chair of Forensic Architecture. Previously she was Senior Research Fellow and Project Co-ordinator of Forensic Architecture. Prior to working in the UK she was an Associate Professor in visual/media arts in Canada. Schuppli received her PhD from Goldsmiths and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program after completing her MFA at the University of California San Diego. She is the recipient of the 2016 ICP Infinity Award.