Photography: Andy Paradise, 2002
In August 2001 artists Bruce Gilchrist, Jo Joelson and photographer Anthony Oliver traveled to remote North East Greenland to record the transition from 24-hour daylight to the twilight onset of winter. They used a spectroradiometer to periodically measure and record light, and using a range of biomonitors, the body's physiological responses.
In the field, the artist's body was employed as a sensor evoking both the ethnographer Marcel Mauss' notion that the body is our first technology, a set of instruments with which to generate knowing; and the Chilean biologist and cognitive scientist Francisco Varela's idea of the body as a portable laboratory.
The Polaria fieldwork generated an interactive virtual daylight chamber (a self illuminating machine) inspired by post-industrial concerns over the quality of the working environment and recent medical research into the beneficial effects of polarised, full spectrum light.
Polaria premiered in London in January 2002 at The Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, and toured to the Centre of Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, and the Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sunderland.
Polaria was financially supported by London Arts, The Arts Council of England, Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow), Northern Gallery for Contemporary Arts, (Sunderland), Oxford Brookes University, Clearvision International.
Additional support from Artsadmin, Air Iceland, The Cambridge Arctic Shelf Programme (C.A.S.P.), The Danish Polar Centre, FujiProfessional, Hasselblad and the ProCentre, Iwasaki Eye, The Solar Energy Alliance, EPFS (Equipment Pool for Field Spectroscopy), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and The Awakened Mind Ltd.
Research and development for this project was facilitated by an ACE Year of the Artist Residency , hosted by Allenheads Contemporary Arts, 2000.