As I found out about 3 months ago (and have been playing it close to the chest since I wasn't sure, at first, what exactly was coming my way), I received project approval from the Nordic Genetic Resource Centre to come to the Global Seed Vault in the Svalbard archipelago and create a photography book about the conservation efforts of the 'vault.'
I want to create a book that contains the desperation of the need for a Global Seed Vault. The Vault was, in part, made from fear of ourselves and of our actions that change the global climate. “[The Vault] is a fail-safe seed storage facility, built to stand the test of time — and the challenge of natural or man-made disasters.”-Crop Trust
In one of the most remote and chilling places, we hatched a chance of survival & conservation of our natural world in a mound of snow of the Svalbard archipelago.
I'm interested in visualizing the juxtaposition of site intrusion of the vault with the beauty of our fear for the global topographical outlook. I plan to fixate on the allure of this interruption and injury to the landscape as a means for potentially restoring it.
I plan to take photographs of the interior textures and patterns of the structure, materials, and trail through the vault to where the seeds are stored. Those photographs would come in tandem with images that I will make of the neighboring landscapes around the Vault, as well as the exterior of the structure. The book would be an abstract passageway, rich in tactile and visual stimuli that relate back to the Vault and its stance as an oddity in the landscape, but also an impenetrable safe-haven for conservation.
On the map above, Svalbard is located where it says "Spitzbergen," which was the original Dutch name of the region. In order to arrive there, I will have to fly Chicago to London, London to Oslo and then Oslo to Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Arrival is projected to be October 13th after one or two long layovers... It can't come soon enough!!