Húnaflói: Arctic Issues & Media Installation Art
Húnaflói is the name of a bay in northern Iceland that empties out into the Greenland Sea. Small fishing communities there face the Arctic region’s epidemic of growing depopulation as a result of economic isolation and the looming impact of climate change. As artists, we have been working directly with Arctic communities for many years now (Weaver grew up in rural Alaska). Since 2011, we have been active collaborators with the University of Alaska at Anchorage, the Arctic Circle Assembly, Arctic fisheries scientists, and the University of Iceland to create site-specific media art projects that illuminate community histories and look at the unusual intersections of place, memory, and changing ecological forces. In summer of 2017, we will travel to Iceland to continue this partnership by creating a series of site-specific installation works around abandoned fish processing facilities that use projectors to map video and photographic content onto hand-built sculptural forms built of a mix of materials spanning local cloth, embroidery thread, fishing line, kelp, wool, horse hide, fishing nets, grass, and fish leather. Readymade materials will be foraged along the coast, and animal components will be sourced with help from partners at Textílsetur Íslands (the Icelandic Textiles Center) and Gestastofa Sútarans, the local tannery. We will exhibit our work in site-specific locations, as well as at a gallery in Reykjavík in fall of 2018. We will also rebuild some installation content for an exhibition and public talk in Blacksburg upon our return.