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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Brian Goggin, S.F. Artist, is Hauling a Colossal Block of Ice From Greenland to Manhattan

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 8:00 AM

  • A very cool project

S. F. artist Brian Goggin, of Defenestration fame, has set his sights on a new project of mammoth proportions. In a bid to remind the public of the effects of global warming, Goggin has decided to travel to Greenland, extract an "enormous monolith" of 100,000 year-old rare blue basal ice, and transport it back to Manhattan. Sounds crazy? Totally. But it only gets better.

click to enlarge Chiseling the ice - BRIAN GOGGIN

To make things a little more complicated, Goggin plans to travel with sleds and huskies, and emply Ancient Egyptian-inspired tools and techniques to hand-carve the ice. "The image is of a post-fuel interaction not using motors or any heavy carbon-producing systems - a stupendous human effort," says Goggin. The exact volume of the ice block has yet to be determined, but Goggin wants it to have the same proportions as the foundation stones of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Once the mammoth ice cube is extracted, Goggin plans to have huskies, human tuggers (which may include arctic athletes, or "financial supporters who want to get their hands dirty") and potentially musk oxen pull the monolith to the coastal town of Ilulissat, where it will be transferred to a ship. The team is also exploring the possibility of using an enormous sail kite to assist the towing process.

Goggin plans to use a dog and sled team like the 1929 Byrd expedition - BRIAN GOGGIN
  • Brian Goggin
  • Goggin plans to use a dog and sled team like the 1929 Byrd expedition

Goggin is intent on creating a spectacle, or in his own words, "a kind of mythological quest for the Holy Grail." Goggin envisions the tugging team pulling the ice "across the ice sheet uncovered to let sunlight illuminate the sweating blue ice as it slides over the bright white snow." Once it arrives in New York, the ice block will be placed in a custom-designed high-tech reliquary filled with sub-zero glycol solution to keep the ice chilled, weighing in at 4000 pounds altogether. The installation will include a circle of laser beams around the reliquary that serve no practical purpose, but are intended to convey "a sense of rarity and significant value."

But the most ambitious part of the project is yet to come. Ultimately, after touring museums across the nation, Goggin will install the monolith in a permanent home, where he hopes to preserve the ice for exactly 488 years. Goggin picked this number because 488 years ago, Manhattan was discovered by Captain Giovanni da Verrazzano of the French ship La Dauphine.

Goggin hopes that the long term installation will invite the public to reflect on the changes in the environment over the last few centuries." After another 488 year period, maybe we will return to a more natural state," he hopes.

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Caroline Chen


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