The Antarctic Biennale project is a bespoke cultural event, different from any other included at the 57th Venice Biennale. It is a creative journey, expanding the parameters of what art can be today. This is an international, sociocultural phenomenon that incorporates artistic, scientific and philosophical methodologies to create a supra-national platform for interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue. It involved a hundred people from all over the world: artists, architects, researchers, and philosophers.
“Modern art. It’s a tricky one. It’s divisive. It’s polarizing. It can be ‘just too much’ for many – too avant-garde, too unsettling; while for others it’s a natural, permanently fluctuating expression of the creative human spirit – in all its wildest, freshest imaginings.” – EUGENE KASPERSKY
The Biennale’s onboard program includes artistic and scientific discussions, performances, poetic and philosophical readings, and screenings. The project is sponsored by Kaspersky Lab a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. The company offers threat intelligence and security expertise which creates security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe.
The Antarctic Biennale’s project is exhibiting selected artworks from its expedition to the Antarctic as part of the 57th Venice Biennale of Art. The work is on display for the first time in The Antarctic Pavilion from 11 May. The exhibition includes works by the expedition’s participants, along with The Glaciator – Joaquin Fargas’ thought-provoking artistic robot inspired by Kaspersky Lab’s mission – and projects from the finalists of the Antarctic Biennale Open Call for young artists. Entitled “ANTARCTICA”, it is open to the public 12 May until 31 July 2017.
The art expedition under UNESCO’s patronage started on March 17 in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, where nearly 100 participants boarded the research ship ‘Akademik Sergey Vavilov’. During their artistic voyage to the South Pole, participants of the Antarctic Biennale traveled around 2,000 nautical miles (4,000 km), making over 12 landings on the shore of the Antarctic Peninsula and on islands surrounding the continent. In total, over 20 artistic projects were carried out during the Biennale, including performances, installations, exhibitions and sound-art experiments, as well as over 15 research sessions and philosophical discussions. Themes for each piece of work included mobility, proportionality to space, ecological compatibility, artistic expressiveness and conceptual acuity. The main objective for the creation of objects during the Antarctic Biennale was that they should not only provide artistic value but also demonstrate a strict observation of the ecological requirements of human activity in Antarctica.
Kaspersky Lab’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialised security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and they help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them.
As well as being the general sponsor of the Antarctic Biennale, Kaspersky Lab also contributed to the project in a special way. Its mission to save the world inspired Argentinean artist and engineer Joaquín Fargas to create the Glaciator, a robot on a mission to keep the Earth safe from viruses – not in cyberspace, but in Antarctica. Glaciator compresses the snow as it steps on it giving it the nickname “Firn-Maker”, with firn being the intermediate state between snow and glacier ice. This process contributes to accelerate the formation of a glacier. Despite its disconnection from the Internet making Antarctica one of the safest places on Earth when it comes to cybersecurity, they have not left anything to chance: Glaciator is protected by security software from Kaspersky Lab.
Commenting on his journey to Antarctica with the Biennale, Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman, and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said: “We have supported Antarctic expeditions in the past, but this has been the biggest project for us on the continent so far. It was an unusual and fascinating endeavor, made possible by the genuinely unique artistic passion of Alexander Ponomarev, the organizers, and all the participants. It was an experience I’ll never forget and one that I will always look back on fondly. The Antarctic is like no other place on earth; it’s a shared continent without borders that’s both beautiful and fragile in its barely inhabitable wilderness. It was the perfect backdrop for creative exploration and expression. We were also happy to contribute to the project in a special way: our mission to save the world inspired Argentinian artist and engineer Joaquín Fargas to create the Glaciator, a robot on a mission to keep the Earth safe from viruses by compressing the snow it steps on. Of course, we protected the Glaciator with security software from Kaspersky Lab. All in all, we are very proud to be the general partner of this project.”
The Antarctic Biennale’s Commissioner, artist Alexander Ponomarev, said: “We have all been witnesses to, and participants in, a unique phenomenon – a project that goes beyond the confines of a normal artistic event, a Biennale that is beyond time, beyond space, beyond politics. Now we merely have to understand and recognize the fact that we are part of a new cultural phenomenon which, without any exaggeration, is worthy of going down in the history of world art.”
Top Photo: The Glaciator, a robot created by Joaquín Fargas, Argentinean artist and engineer, inspired by Kaspersky Lab
Exhibition times: Open every day in the following months June: 2 — 6 PM July: 2 — 6 PM (apart from Tuesdays) Palazzo Molin a San Basegio Fondamenta Zattere Al Ponte Longo 1412, Venice, Italy