ARTARCTIC is an artistic-scientific project first conceived in 2021 and based on collaboration between terraXcube, Festival Transart and Peter Senoner. In this project, the terraXcube extreme climate simulation centre has been transformed into a temporary artist’s studio and has become an artistic-scientific experimental set-up. This project is now being continued. Since his artistic beginnings in New York at the turn of the millennium, Peter Senoner’s artistic practice has been situated in the field of tension between human existence, ultra-technology and habitat. In the terraXcube, all these factors are now combined: at a simulated height above sea level of 5,000m, in the midst of an artificially generated snowstorm, the artist is working on an extraordinary series of works. Larger-than-life picture tableaux are being created and worked on as a performative painterly/sculptural series of works. Is artistic work and the generation of ideas possible in this extreme environment, or indeed, will the creative processes even be intensified by it? Does the work on the larger-than-life picture tableaux become an existential feat of strength or does the narrative flow easily? Are the subjective feelings and the objective comprehensibility of the creative decisions congruent?
The combination of high altitude, cold and snow has already been tested in medical studies in the terraXcube. The aim was to understand how the human body reacts to such extreme environmental conditions.
With ARTARCTIC, the extreme climate simulator terraXcube becomes the setting for an artistic-performative event as a planned continuation and further evolution of the original project initiated within the framework of Transart 2021. With this collaboration, the terraXcube is addressing a different audience than the scientific one with which it normally enters into dialogue. The artist is medically monitored during his work by means of a chest strap for real-time sensor technology. ECG, heart rate, breathing rate and oxygen saturation are continuously recorded. These parameters flow into the artistic work in real time. Scientific data generation and creative idea processes form an exciting dialogue. The artist’s physiological data are collected and recorded by the terraXcube research team. Along with data from medical studies, they will provide new insights into the effects of extreme climate conditions on humans. The whole scenario can be followed online via livestream, as well as directly on site by the audience on the monitors in the entrance area and through the control windows of the setup room. The central work ARTARCTIC_tableaux will remain permanently in the terraXcube as a “trace element” of the performance. The other works are exhibited at the Alessandro Casciaro Gallery in Bolzano until 14 January 2023, together with other previously unpublished works by the artist.