Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Ballard, S. "Erewhon: media, ecology, and utopia in the antipodes." Relive Media Art Histories. Ed.S. Cubitt & P. Thomas. London: MIT Press, 2013, 191-208.


On June 22, 2005, an essay by the Association of Freed Time was published in ArtforumInternational. With little contextual information, "El Diaro del Fin del Mundo: AJourney That Wasn't" described environmental damage to the Antarctic ice shelf andthe subsequent mutations that were occurring within the Antarctic ecosystem. Oneof these mutants was rumored to be a solitary albino penguin, living on an unchartedisland near Marguerite Bay. The Artforum article tells of French artist Pierre Huyghe'sjourney with ten others to find the island and its mysterious inhabitant. The articleforms the first part of an event that culminated in a musical on the Wollman ice rinkin New York's Central Park. The expedition, film, installation, narrative, and performanceA journey That Wasn't documents the construction of an antipodean elsewhere,and at the same time suspends long-held distinctions between fiction and reality.Questions remain over whether Huyghe and his team undertook the trip and if sowhat it was they found there.