Extremophiles - PhMuseum

Extremophiles

Isadora Romero

2019

Antarctica

This is a visual story that contains photographs and objects obtained during the XXIII Ecuadorian Antarctic expedition. This project explores the human presence on the white continent, bringing out the absurdities and contradictions of the human species.

At a time when the need for conservation of the planet is being urgently discussed, but the actions needed directly contradicts the geopolitical and economic interests that prevail in human societies that abuse natural resources, it is strange to think of a utopian and mysterious continent like Antarctica. A place destined merely for scientific study, but where nevertheless, many exploitations interests are latent. This space of which we have widely known its landscapes and fauna, in our imagination the human species does not appear as one that arrives by seasons and intervenes in its environment. As part of the scientific committee of the XXIII Ecuadorian expedition to the continent, I decided to carry out an artistic-anthropological-scientific study of the human species, in turn questioning the hegemony that Western science has in our collective imaginary.

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  • A colony of chinstrap penguin chicks pass by an old structure at the Chilean base Gabriel Gonzales Videla on the Antarctic Peninsula. This Station only functions during summer and was build years ago over near penguin colony, something that is prohibited now.

  • An iceberg several kilometers long floats in the then calm waters surrounding the Antarctic peninsula.

  • On each Antarctic island there is a structure with arrows that point the distance between that exact point on earth and different places on the planet. Here is this structure covered in frost from the night before. Greenwich, Shetland Islands, Antartica

  • Biologist Tania Oña on a snowy day next to the Pedro Vicente Maldonado station’s laboratory located on Greenwich Island on the Antarctic Peninsula.
    She has traveled five times to Antartica to develop an investigation about lichens.

  • An "ice dog" as called joking by those who inhabited the O'Higgins Chilean station on the Shetland islands in Antartica.

  • Luis Caiza of the Ecuadorian Military Geographic Institute holds an unmanned aircraft that surveyed macro shots of Greenwich Island and Roberts Island on the Antarctic Peninsula.

  • A complete flotation system hangs alongside the Achilles ship that transports expeditionaries from their stations on the Antarctic Peninsula back to the American continent after the southern summer is over.

  • A stone within scrap metal found on Deception Island in the Shetland Archipelago in Antarctica. These huge structures once belonged to the Norwegian whaling industry. Now this island that is also an active crater maintains the structures like a museum.

  • An expeditionary shakes hands with a frozen glove hanging on Module 7 under construction at the Pedro Vicente Maldonado Antarctic Station in Shetland peninsula.

  • Daniela Cajiao, an investigator of the impact of the human tourism on the penguin colonies. She has traveled to Antartica for seven times for her research that will allow to understand if the 5 meters estimated for a juman to be near a penguin are enough distance or if more space is needed.

  • A ray of sunlight seeps into the sunset over the horizon of the white continent. In the summer of 2019, the sea on the Antarctic Peninsula was mostly calm.


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