? The Arctic Circle ?is a series of artist and scientist-led expeditions into the remote Arctic fascinating destinations aboard a specially outfitted scientific research sailing vessel. It is a nexus where art intersects science, architecture and activism - an incubator for thought and experimentation for innovators who seek out and foster areas of collaboration to engage in the central issues of our time. Boarding the vessel, artists of all disciplines, scientists, architects, and educators voyage into the high Arctic. The participants have the opportunity to pursue personal projects on board while exploring collaborations with other members. In 2009, the Taiwanese artist Guang-Yu Chui was first invited to participate in the program. There will be a Taiwanese artist to take part in the program again this year.
By the description of Guang-Yu Chui, twenty members in the two-week expedition, the vessel sailed through the Spitzbergen (Svalbard) archipelago, stopping periodically to allow all participants to work at several spots along the way. All participants studied
the area's ecology and geology, observed the lives of polar bears from across icy fjords, and came face-to-face with walruses on snowy beaches. Setting foot on retreating glaciers, they experienced the roaring power of arctic storms and were forced to dine in a ship's cabin tilted at a 30-degree angle under the onrush of wind. They crammed themselves, together with equipment, into a speedboat to attempt amphibious landings in thrashing waves. Hiking in knee-high snow, they listened to the sound of cracking ice as the ship pushed its way through frozen waters. And, in the midst of this strange, forgotten world, works of art were shaping. Guang-Yu Chui felt that this experience was valuable. It allowed artists of different disciplines to come into close contact with the Arctic environment and to explore the ways in which their own interests might intersect with it. Moreover, it turned the execution of familiar ideas into a form of self-challenge.
For the 2009 expedition, there will have an exhibit to show all participants' works. For further information about the Arctic Circle Group Show, please visit websites on: www. thearcticcircle.org and www.tpecc.org.