In an international collaboration with highly respected anthropologists, scientists and other academics from England, Scotland, Greenland and Denmark, Elizabeth Ogilvie has founded an exchange of social, environmental and cultural knowledge that has informed Out of Ice and many of her other works. Working with her collaborators, Ogilvie hopes to develop a language with the physical materials of ice and water where rationality and intuition together become an agent for socially responsible innovation in the Arctic.
British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Based in Cambridge, United Kingdom, it has, for over 60 years, undertaken the majority of Britain’s scientific research on and around the Antarctic continent. It now shares that continent with scientists from over thirty countries.
Elizabeth Ogilvie has edited footage shot by BAS of their expedition to Subglacial Lake Ellsworth in Antarctica in 2012 for Out of Ice. In the early hours of 25th December that year, an attempt to explore the lake, deep beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet was called off. The UK project, involving the BAS, the National Oceanography Centre and several Universities, had been in planning for over 10 years. The ambition was to access the lake using a specially-engineered hot-water drill through 3 km of ice and, using the hole created deploy probes to take samples and measurements to look for life in the lake and acquire records of past ice and climate change. Drilling was ceased after the main borehole failed to link with a subsurface cavity of water, built up over ~40 hours. Without this link, insufficient water was available to continue drilling downwards to the lake.
For further information please visit: www.antarctica.ac.uk
Professor Martin Siegert FRSE, Director of the Bristol Glaciology Centre, Prof. of Geosciences, University of Bristol and Hon. Prof. of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh
Martin Siegert leads the Lake Ellsworth Consortium, a UK-NERC funded programme detailed above. Siegert has undertaken three Antarctic field seasons, using geophysics to measure the sub-glacial landscape and understand what it tells us about past changes in Antarctica and elsewhere.
The University of Westminster is presenting Elizabeth Ogilvie’s Out of Ice in the research-oriented environment of Ambika P3, reflecting its programme of ambitious works, exhibitions and events for a wide range of audiences.
The international conference accompanying Out of Ice – Reading and Exhibiting Nature – is produced in association with the University and co-hosted by the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Fairbanks, for students, artists, environmentalists, anthropologists and climate scientists.
Professor Tim Ingold and Dr Jo Vergunst of the Dept. of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen have a keen interest in the working practice of Elizabeth Ogilvie.
Prof. Tim Ingold is currently Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. He has carried out ethnographic fieldwork among Saami and Finnish people in Lapland, and has written on comparative questions of environment, technology and social organisation in the circumpolar North, on the role of animals in human society, and on human ecology and evolutionary theory in anthropology, biology and history. More recently, he has explored the links between environmental perception and skilled practice. Ingold is currently writing and teaching in relation to the interface between anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture. His latest book, Making, was published in 2013.
Dr Jo Vergunst, Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, whose current research focuses on connections between art practice, anthropology and the environment has been collaborating with Ogilvie since 2008. They have run research seminars together on connections between art, anthropology and the environment. Vergunst is also contributing to the Out of Ice publication.
Assistant Professor Suna Christensen of the Department of Social Anthropology at Metropolitan University, Copenhagen, Denmark has lived, worked and researched in Northern Greenland for over six years. She takes a special interest in the relations between education, livelihood and place. During her PhD research she developed a particular interest in the relation between indigenous Arctic hunters’ livelihood practices, their sense of land and social attention.
In 2010 and 2012, Christensen undertook cross-disciplinary archaeological-anthropological research at a hunting site in West Greenland where the lives of present day caribou hunters sometimes mirror those of pre-historic Inuit hunters. In 2011 she journeyed with hunters across ice landscapes in Northern Greenland to explore the spirit of ice embodied in the hunters’ interrelations with the landscape. Christensen is also contributing to the Out of Ice publication.