Publication Details

Ballard, S. "Antipodean media ecologies: journeys to nowhere and back." ISEA 14th International Symposium on Electronic Art Conference Proceedings. Ed. I. Hofd. Singapore: ISEA2008 Pty Ltd, 2008. 44-46.


In summer 2005 the Association of Freed Times (AFT) published an article in Artforum. "El Diaro del Fin del Mundo: A Journey That Wasn't" described environmental damage to the Antarctic ice shelf and the subsequent mutations occurring within the Antartic ecosystem. One of these mutants is rumoured to be a solitary albino penguin living on an uncharted island near Marguerite Bay. The article documents French artist Pierre Huyghe's journey to find the island and its mysterious inhabitatnt, and forms the first part of an event that culminated in a musical on the Wollman ice rink in New York's Central Park, where "in accordance with a principle of equivalence, a symphone orchestra 'plays' the form of this island" (Leydier 2006, 33). The expedition, film, installation, narrative and performance A Journey that Wasn't documents European imaginings of elsewhere, while at the same time suspending relationships between ficition and reality. Questions remain over whether Huyghe and his team undertook the trip, and if so, what it was they found there. "Perhaps, they reasoned, desire itself might produce the island" (AFT 2005, 299).

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