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Leonardo Gallery 229 Scientific Delirium Madness 4.0 Gallery 81° North Anna M. Davidson Experiencing the sublime is to be without limits. Free from association and memory, no longer do I hold an identity. I float into a place unknown, into the absolute. My tempo has changed, time lies dormant, breath cut off, no longer aware of my heartbeat or cold hands. The Antigua is a glacial sailing vessel, a tall ship with 11 sails. It gently floats us through the endless icy horizon covered with tightly packed sea ice. I can hear the pieces of ice scrape against each other as they sculpt one another’s forms. Tiny little lifeboats, floating up, floating down. The ocean moves seductively and slowly like a breathing chest. I record the sounds of the scraping ice, I record the ocean breathing. I breathe with it. Icebergs somersaulting, glaciers calving. Sounds like thunder reach me first, then I look to see, then I feel my boat rock from the break’s waves. All senses are sharpened in the Arctic, because you feel alive, because you are animal again. We arrive at the pack ice of the North Pole and anchor to a mass of ice. The water is too deep here for our anchor to reach bottom. The first polar bear I see is thin. She is hunting on land due to a lack of ice this year and will likely not survive the season. I’m here, filming a landscape disappearing. At Djerassi I compiled arctic sounds, video and experiences into an 11-minute video titled 81° North. The raw material was collected when I was on the expeditionary Arctic Circle Residency that departed Svalbard in the summer of 2016. While at Djerassi, I collaborated with Heather Spence and Marco Buongiorno Nardelli; Marco recorded Heather playing the viola da gamba, which is featured in the soundtrack of the video piece. The work attempts to sync the viewer’s body with the rhythms, melodies and memories of the Arctic Ocean. Anna M. Davidson Email: Video stills from 81° North. (© Anna Davidson) 295 ppi at this size ...


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