instead…of arctic shelves and melting futures 
stattdessen…von arktischen bodenkrusten und schmelzenden zukünften
ongoing series of cyanotypes
dimensions variable

An Imperfect Map – [Will Have to Do], Landschaft ohne Horizont
Digital exhibition curated by Lena Johanna Reisner
01.02.– 01.04.2021


On conventional world maps, the Arctic is generally depicted as a marginal region. For the global climate system, however, its melting ice masses are of central importance due to its albedo – that is, its ability to reflect and thereby diffuse light and heat. The polar region is drifting at an alarming tempo towards a new climate regime, one of the tipping points in the global climate system. At the same time, industrial nations are speculating on resources freed up by the melting ice. They seek to claim their place in the polar sun, renegotiating shipping routes, fish stock, mineral resources and living spaces. Research on the seabed and continental shelf is also driven by interests in proving continental connections to the North Pole in order to substantiate aspirations to claim territory in the region.

In instead… of arctic shelves and melting futures, Paula König traces the form of the Arctic seabed, which is in the process of being reconstructed with the aid of sonic depth sounding equipment, satellite images, and other data. The artist exposed 24 cyanotypes as analogue photographs to sunlight, which as an energy source drives countless metabolic processes in the biosphere. The resulting map brings together a chemical process, a geopolitical vision and a poetic notation.

text by Lena Johanna Reisner in collaboration with the artist.